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FMBER 1952 . 35 CENTS 



Hayden Planetarium 

ROCKET-LAUNCHING SATELLITE as conceived and presented 
in "Rocket to the Moon", a space-travel show, at the Hayden 
Planetarium in New York. Notice that this giant space satellite 
is spool-like, not wheel-like, and that the receiving and launching 
points are a continuous tunnel through the middle of the "spool", 
with observation domes above and below. A lunar ship is now on 
its way to the moon. For its approach, see third cover. 




All Stories New and Complete 


Art Director: HENRY BECKER 

Cover by Ralph Joiner; Illustrations by 
Beecham, Speicher, Martin, Zimmerman 



I THE IMAGE AND THE LIKENESS by John Scott Campbell 4 | 


I THE RUNNING HOUNDS by John Jakes 62 | 



I BROTHER TO THE MACHINE by Richard Matheson 57 | 


I LET THERE BE LIGHT by Horace B. Fyfe 94 | 





I SCIENCE BRIEFS by R. S. Richardson 113 | 


I COVER PICTORIAL: Trip to the moon | 


IF is published bi-monthly by Quinn Publishing Company, Inc. Volume 1, No. 5. 
Copyright 1952. Office of publication, 8 Lord Street, Buffalo, New York. Applica- 
tion for Entry as Second Class Matter at Post Office^ Buffalo, New York, pending. 
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sponsible for unsolicited artwork or manuscripts. 35c a copy. Printed in U.S.A. 


Next issue on sale November 7th 


I THINK homo sapiens is getting 
entirely too big for his hat band 
and that he's due for a long ride, 
downward very shortly. By very 
shortly, I don't mean today or to- 
morrow necessarily. I'm speaking in 
relation to the long-time cycle in 
which shortly could be fifty or even 
a hundred years. 

But first, do you give two hoots 
what I think? Well, thank you — 
thank you very much. Now pull up 
a chair and I'll go into detail. 

Let's take a look, first, at the 
present-day picture. What do we 
see? We see Man — who only yes- 
terday, in terms of the historic 
cycle, learned the startling fact that 
diseases are caused by little beasties 
called germs — talking blandly 
about putting a platform out in 
space, hopping from there to the 
moon, and from there to heaven 
knows where. Man who, a scant 

five hundred years ago, would take 
off his jacket and fight you if you 
told him the world is round. 

MOVE up further, and what do 
we see — vast new knowledge, 
stupendous scientific progress, most 
of which has been achieved in 
the last hundred years. And I think 
you'll agree that one hundred years, 
when stacked up against the life 
and death span of worlds, nay, even 
empires, is a short time indeed. 

What am I getting at? Just this 
— it has happened too quickly; this 
progress has come far too fast. One 
of the basic laws of nature, is that 
of action and reaction. I saw this 
law function most perceptibly dur- 
ing the years I made my living as a 
speculator in the Chicago gram 
markets. There, you understood 
the law and functioned in rhythm 
with it, or you lost all your money 
and stopped eating. Check any old 
grain chart and you'll see what I 
mean. Say that wheat is priced at 
one dollar a bushel and that the 
situation justifies its going to three 
dollars. It doesn't just walk up 
there overnight. In covering the 
distance from one dollar to three, 
the price of wheat goes up and 
comes back, rams up again, and 
falls away. Always going higher 
than it went before and never fall- 
ing as low as the point from which 
it started, but conforming, all die 
way up, to the law of action and 
reaction, until it arrives at its ulti- 
mate price. And, even there, we 
find the prices as being nothing 
more than a stopping point in a 
greater cycle. The prices of living 

are an example — a halt or decline 
here and there, but ever higher 
through the years. 

THIS law underlies almost every 
visual or abstract interpretation 
of motion. Rise and fall. Action and 
reaction. Even in human endeavor, 
it is apparent. A man begins build- 
ing a career. That career is made 
up of a series of successes and fail- 
ures. It could be charted on a graph 
as a zigzag line of advances and re- 
cessions, but never as a straight line 
from the bottom to the top. 

So, applying the law to current 
history, we have a graph represent- 
ing technical, economic, in fact 
general world advancement ram- 
ming straight up in a line from 
1900 to 1950— a line almost verti- 
cail. Any experienced grain specu- 
lator would take one look at that 
line and sell everything but the 
clothes on his back. Of course his 
timing could be wrong. No man 
alive can pick a top and say with 
authority, this is it. Many of them 
have gone broke trying. But they 
know the danger signals, and to 
my way of thinking — I could be 
very wrong — the signals are flying. 

IN OTHER words, we've gone too 
far too fast and the law of action 
and reaction has not been repealed. 
I realize I'm putting myself in the 

same category as those who started 
calling the 1929 crash in 1927. 
They missed a mile, but in the end 
they were right because they re- 
fused to disregard the inexorable 

I'll probably be accused of shout- 
ing gloom from the house tops, but 
a man has to be honest in his con- 
victions and these are mine. 

I think, without being accused of 
crackpotism, we have a perfect 
right to view human progress over 
the broadest area of which we are 
capable. These cycles certainly go 
far, far behind our recorded history. 
Therefore, who can say what peaks 
of great human progress lie buried 
in voiceless antiquity. Who can say 
what knowledge has been gained 
and lost only to be gained again? 

I THINK we have a right to say 
this, however. That right now, 
we are at the very peak of all hu- 
man progress on this planet. But 
how about the next recession? 
When it comes, and what form 
it will take no man can say. Maybe 
those platforms will be built in our 
life-span; or in that of our children; 
or our children's children. Or per- 
haps they will be built by those who 
must remain unborn for another 
five thousand years. 

Anyhow, it's an interesting field 
for cogitation. And certainly, no 
one can call me a PoUyanna. 


We stared — frozen — at the great face above iii. 

up from the horror of Hiroshima came a 
god. He gave the people hope and for this 
they killed him — as they have always killed 
their gods. 




By John Scott Campbell 

SHANGHAI had changed. We 
sensed that the moment we 
came ashore. Extraterritoriality 
was long gone; we had known that, 
of course. The days of exploitation, 
of clubs where Chinese and Bur- 
mese and Indian servants waited 
on Britons and Americans were 
passed. Pan-Asia had seen to that. 
This was 1965. The white man's 
burden in the east had been upon 
brown and yellow shoulders for 
over sixteen years now, and the In- 

dians and Burmese and Indonesians 
were ruling themselves, after their 
fling at communism in the fifties. 
The initial bitterness which fol- 
lowed the debacle of 1955 had 
passed, we were glad to see. Porters 
no longer spat in the faces of white 
men. They were polite, but we had 
not been in the city a half hour be- 
fore we sensed something else. 
There was an edge to that polite- 
ness. It was as Major Reid had 
written before we left San Fran- 


CISCO — a subtle change had come 
over Asia in the previous few years. 
They smiled— they waited on us — 
they bent over backwards to atone 
for the excesses of the first years of 
freedom from foreign rule; but 
through it all was an air of aloof- 
ness, of superior knowledge. 

Baker put it in his typically blunt 
British way. 

"The blighters have something 
up their sleeves, all right. The 
whole crew of them. Did you notice 
that rickshaw boy? When I said 
to take Us to the hotel, he answered 
'Yes, today I take you'. The Major 
was right — there's something in the 
wind, and its damned serious." 

We were sitting, surrounded by 
our luggage, In our suite at the New 
China Hotel. There were four of 
us: Llewelyn Baker, Walter 
Chamberlin, Robert Martin, and 
myself, William Cady. Baker 
and Martin were anthropologists, 
and old China hands as well. 
Chamberlin was a geologist, and I 
claimed knowledge of zoology. We 
were here ostensibly as a scientific 
expedition, and had permission 
from the Republic of East Asia to 
do some work on Celebese man, 
following up the discoveries by 
Ranee of bones and artifacts on 
that East Indian island in 1961. 

We had another reason for com- 
ing at this particular time, although 
this was not mentioned to the au- 
thorities. Our real objective was to 
find out certain things about New 
Buddhism, the violently national- 
istic religion which was sweeping 

New Buddhism was more than 
a religion. It was a motivating force 

of such power that men like Major 
Reid at the American Embassy 
were frankly worried, and had com- 
municated their fears to their home 
governments. The Pan-Asia move- 
ment had, at first, been understand- 
able. At first it had been national- 
ism, pure and simple. The Asiatics 
were tired of exploitation and 
western bungling, and wanted to 
rule themselves. During the com^ 
munist honeymoon in the early 
fifties, it was partly underground 
and partly taken over by the Reds 
for their own purposes. But through 
everything it retained a character 
of its own, and after '55 it reap- 
peared as a growing force which 
was purely oriental. Or at least so 
it seemed. Our job was, among 
other things, to find out if Russian 
control was really destroyed. 

We had already made several ob- 
servations. The most obvious was 
the number of priests. Yellow 
robed Buddhist priests had always 
been common, begging rice and 
coppers in the streets, but in 1955 
a new kind appeared. He was 
younger than his predecessors, and 
was usually an ex-soldier. And his 
technique was different. He was a 
salesman. "Rice — rice for Buddha," 
he would say. "Rice for the Living 
Buddha, to give him strength. Rice 
for the Great One, that he may 
grow mighty. Rice for the strength 
to cast off our bonds." 

And they had organization. This 
wasn't any hit or miss revival, 
started by a crackpot, or by some 
schemer for his own enrichment. 
There was direction back of it, and 
very good direction too. We sensed 
that it had been Japanese, at least 


at the start, but with the end of the 
occupation, we could no longer 
barge in and investigate officially. 
Now there were treaties to respect, 
and diplomatic procedure and all 
that sort of thing. 

Instead, we were here to spy. 
Unofficially, of course. The am- 
bassador was very explicit on that 
point. We were strictly on our own. 
If we were caught, there could be 
no protection. So here we were. 
Four scientists investigating Cele- 
bese man, and trying to find out, 
on the side, just what was back of 
New Buddhism. 

We washed up, had dinner, and 
presently, as we had expected, 
Major Reid called. After a few 
jocular references to anthropology, 
for the benefit of the waiter, he 
got down to business. 

"I'll have to be brief," he said, 
"because I can't spend too much 
time with you without stirring up 
suspicion. You all know the back- 
ground. They claim that this busi- 
ness is simply a new religion, a re- 
vival of Buddhism modeled to fit 
new conditions. President Tung 
claims that there is no connection 
between it and the state. We think 
differently. We have reason to be- 
lieve that the direction back of this 
movement is communism, and that 
its ultimate object is military at- 
tack on the western world. What 
we don't know is the nature of the 
proposed attack. Some of us suspect 
that they are making H-bombs, and 
have covered up so that we cannot 
spot them. That's what we must 
find out. 

"The headquarters of New Bud- 
dhism is on a small volcanic island 

called Yat, off the east coast of 
Celebes. Your job is to reach that 
island and find out what's going 
on, and then bring the information 
back. Clear?" 

We nodded. We had received a 
similar briefing in Washington, and 
from a far more distinguished per- 
sonage than Major Reid, but we 
felt no need of mentioning this. In 
such a business, gratuitous informa- 
tion, even to friends, serves no use- 
ful end. 

ington had told us a good 
many other things, too. In the 
name of New Buddhism, the priests 
had been collecting immense quan- 
tities of supplies, and on an increas- 
ing scale. Tons of foodstuffs had 
been gathered and then shipped off 
to an unknown destination. Ma- 
chinery, lumber, structural steel, 
canvas by the thousands of yards 
had been purchased, loaded onto 
ships and barges, and spirited away. 
It appeared that the New Buddhists 
were maintaining a standing army, 
or perhaps a labor force somewhere 
east of Borneo, but the picture was 
very incomplete. 

Part of the failure of ordinary 
methods of intelligence may have 
been due to the supersecrecy of the 
New Buddhists themselves. It was 
not difficult to corrupt priests on 
the lower levels, but all they knew 
was that certain quotas of food 
and materials were set for their ter- 
ritory, which were then shipped 
away to Borneo. 

The big break had come only a 
few mondis ago. One of the OSS 



men got through to a barge captain, 
who had been to the headquarters 
itself. He identified the location as 
an island a few miles off the north- 
east coast of Celebes. It was, he 
said, highly mountainous — ^in fact 
he believed it to be an extinct vol- 
cano, with a water filled crater 
reached only by a narrow passage 
from the sea. Boats, he said, could 
go in and out, but his barge was 
not among those permitted. He de- 
livered his cargo, three thousand 
tons of rice and five thousand raw 
hides, and was then sent on his 
way. Under questioning, he said 
that there were many people living 
on the island — thousands at least. 
Most of them lived in barracks 
among the trees fronting the ocean, 
but some had special privileges and 
were allowed to go to the top of the 
crater rim. 

Of the activities within the crater 
our informant knew nothing. At 
night the clouds were often lit by 
reflections from there, and once 
he had heard noises, accompanied 
by a distinct shaking of the earth, 
as though blasting were being done 
at a great depth. 

This was the extent of our 
knowledge. We knew the location, 
but it was up to us to find out the 

Our departure from Shanghai 
for the great island of Celebes in- 
volved the usual exasperation of de- 
lay and red tape. The American 
Embassy did everything possible to 
expedite matters, and brought a lit- 
tle pressure to bear, I think, on the 
St length of the then impending 
Ainci ican Sixth Loan to China. In 
;niv I ase we were at last cleared. 

and boarded the plane for Celebes. 

We took one of the six place 
compartments on the upper deck, 
and presently had company in the 
form of two yellow-clad New Bud- 
dhist priests. Baker, who had the 
best command of Chinese, engaged 
them in conversation. 

As we had expected, they were 
very willing to talk, and displayed 
a lively interest in Celebes man. 
That they were here to watch us 
was obvious. Baker bided his time, 
and then switched the conversation 
to New Buddhism. On this subject 
too the priests were anything but 
reticent. They described with en- 
thusiasm the great spiritual renais- 
sance that was sweeping all Asia 
"like a wind, the breath of life 
from the Living Buddha." Baker 
asked a few questions about the 
Buddha, since to show no curiosity 
about such a life subject might ex- 
cite suspicion. The priests were 
ready for them, and gave what was 
evidently the stock answer: the 
Living Buddha was the very in- 
carnation of Gautama himself, a 
spiritual leader who was being 
groomed to take over the guidance 
of all mankind, in east and west 

"Where does the Great One 
live?" asked Baker, alert for a trap. 

"In Celebes, where you are go- 
ing," was the reply. 

"Oh," said Baker innocently, 
"Then perhaps it could be arranged 
for us to meet him?" 

This, explained the priest, was 
quite impossible. In due time 
Buddha would display himself for 
the world to see and marvel over; 
meanwhile, while his preparation 


was yet incomplete, he must remain 
in seclusion. 

By now convinced that the pres- 
ence of the priests was no accident, 
Baker settled down to the sort of 
verbal sparring match that he en- 
joyed. He had been speaking in the 
Cantonese dialect, but now he ab- 
ruptly switched to English. 

"You know," he remarked, "you 
fellows are using an amazing 
amount of material at your head- 
quarters. Enough food to keep a 
good sized standing army." 

The two priests, who had pro- 
fessed ignorance of English at the 
start of the conversation, stiffened 
visibly. Baker returned to Chinese. 

The priests recovered their com- 
posure with some effort. The older 
replied suavely, "Gossip is a crea- 
tive art. There is a large monastery 
at our central temple, and much is 
needed to maintain its activities." 

"Truth," said Baker pontifically, 
"is usually disappointing. The im- 
agination changes a mud hut to a 
palace, and a sickly priest to a 

The two priests inclined their 
heads slightly at this. We watched 
their expressions. If Baker's pur- 
posely provoking language brought 
a reaction, it was not visible. But 
we had learned one thing: they 
spoke English but preferred that 
we did not know it. 

cassar, the Indonesian capital 
of Celebes, was attended by the 
usual confusion and delay. Our 
Buddhist friends vanished with a 
speed which suggested special con- 

sideration, while the man from the 
American Consulate was still get- 
ting our equipment through cus- 

This business at length com- 
pleted, we were escorted to a taxi 
by the attache and whisked up one 
of the wide avenues of the city 
without a question as to where we 
were to stay. Baker and Martin 
stared out the window with studied 
ease — they knew that something 
was up, but were content to await 
further developments. Now I no- 
ticed something else. The driver of 
our cab was a European, not a na- 
tive. I started to frame a question, 
when, without warning, the car 
ducked into a side street, swung 
around two corners and abruptly 
entered an open doorway in a tall 
stucco building. Both Walt and I 
were half out of our seats in alarm, 
when our guide spoke. 

"The American Consulate, gen- 
tlemen," he said, with the slightest 
trace of a diplomatic smile. 

The cab had stopped in the 
ground floor garage of the consu- 
late, and opening the door was the 
consul himself. 

"Good morning, I'm Stimson. 
Hope Avery didn't give you too 
wild a ride, but I thought it best not 
to advertise my interest in you at 
the front door. Things have 
changed a bit in the last few days. 
Well, Avery will show you to your 
rooms. I'll be in the upstairs study 
when you're freshened up." 

There was httle to speculate on 
as we shaved and changed to less 
rumpled clothes, but we worked 
over the available data for what it 
was worth. 



"Consul takes us in tow," re- 
marked Chamberlin. "That isn't in 
line with the unofficial status so 
strongly impressed on us at Wash- 

"And sneaking us in through the 
back door isn't according to best 
diplomatic form, either. Stimson 
wants to protect us from something, 
but obviously doesn't want the local 
constabulary to know." This from 

"It seems to me," I ventured, 
"that they could check the hotels. 
It shouldn't take them long to put 
two and two together when we 
don't show. I'm blessed if I can see 
what Stimson has to gain from this 

Baker turned from the mirror 
where he had been adjusting his 
tie. "Suppose we ask him," he com- 

The consul was waiting for us in 
his study. After the briefest greeting 
which his official position per- 
mitted, he got down to business. 

"Gentlemen, I've had to pull a 
diplomatic boner of the first mag- 
nitude. I refer to the cloak and 
dagger method of getting you here. 
But believe me, it was the only way. 
They're onto your scheme. If you 
went to a hotel in New Macassar, 
you wouldn't be alive tomorrow 

"But, the taxi — " began Martin. 

"It gave us a few hours. If I had 
sent the consulate car, they'd have 
us sealed off tight right now. I 
could keep you safe here, or get you 
on the Shanghai plane, but you 
couldn't make another move. As it 
is, we have perhaps two hours— - 
with luck." 

The consul settled back in his 
chair, evidently gathering his 
thoughts. We waited, more mysti- 
fied than before, if that were pos- 
sible. At length Stimson started 

"You're well briefed on the gen- 
eral situation. Reid gave me the 
gist of his conversation. But there 
are some other things that even 
Reid doesn't know." He opened a 
folding blotter on his desk and 
drew out an eight by ten photo- 
graphic print. 

"You're aware of the efforts that 
have been made to look into the 
crater on Yat. To date we have not 
succeeded in getting an eye witness 
to the rim. We have flown over 
Yat, of course, and have taken pic- 
tures from every altitude from 
5,000 to 70,000 feet, but so far they 
have outsmarted us. They have 
smoke generators all around the 
rim, which they fire up night and 
day whenever the natural clouds 
lift. We've used every color, in- 
cluding infra red. We've taken 
stereo pairs, and flash shots at night, 
but, with one exception, all we've 
ever gotten are beautiful pictures 
of clouds and smoke. The excep- 
tion I have here. It was taken two 
weeks ago, during a brief break in 
a heavy storm. Before I say any- 
thing more, I'd like to have you 
look at it and form your own 

He placed the print on the desk, 
facing us, and leaned back while 
we four crowded around. My first 
glimpse was disappointing. Fully 
two thirds of the picture was occu- 
pied by clouds. But gradually I 
made out the details. There seemed 



to be several buildings of uncertain 
size in the lower part, and a fringe 
of brush extending up to the left. 
Half visible through the mist were 
several structures which seemed to 
me, in comparison to the larger 
buildings, like chicken houses or 
perhaps rabbit hutches. No humans 
were in sight, evidently because of 
the storm. But in the center of the 
picture was the thing which fixed 
our attention from the first, leaving 
the other details for later scrutiny.- 
This was an immense human figure, 
lying on its side with the head pil- 
lowed on its hands in the attitude 
of the colossal figures of the reclin- 
ing Buddha found in the moun- 
tains of China. The body was partly 
covered by a robe, but whether this 
was part of the figure or a canvas 
protection against the rain, was dif- 
ficult to tell. Only the head, hands 
and feet showed. The face was 
partly in shadow, but enough could 
be seen to identify the typical 
Buddha countenance: closed eyes 
and lips curled in an enigmatic 

WE STARED at this peculiar 
picture for a good minute, 
taking in the details, while Stimson 
watched us. Then Baker looked up. 

"What is it?" he asked. 

"Before I tell you our guesses," 
replied the consul, "I'd like to hear 
your reactions." 

"It would appear that the New 
Buddhists are doing the obvious — 
setting up a Buddhist temple. 
Although, except for the statue, 
you'd never guess it." This from 
Chamber lin. 

Martin squinted closely at the 
print. "Yes, the buildings look more 
like airship hangars than a temple." 

Stimson raised his eyebrows 
slightly. "That's an interesting ob- 
servation," he commented. 

"Wish there were some humans, 
or something else to give a scale," 
said Baker. "For all we can tell, it 
could be anything from doll houses 
and a life sized statue, all the way 
up to an air base, and a reclining 
Buddha to end all reclining 

There was an expectant pause. 
Stimson, seeing that we had noth- 
ing more to add, cleared his throat, 
glanced briefly out of the window 
behind his chair, and hunched for- 

"This picture was made from an 
F-180A, modified for photo recon- 
naissance. The plane was on a 
routine flight from Singapore to 
Mindanao, over a solid deck of 
clouds. The pilot swung south over 
Yat just out of curiosity. He ap- 
proached the island at 50,000 feet, 
using radar, and was about to pass 
over when he spotted a hole in the 
overcast. Time was 1800 — just sun- 
set — but the edge of the crater was 
well lighted, although the bottom 
was in deep shadow. More impor- 
tant, the smoke generators had 
been turned off. Obviously the 
clouds had just parted, and would 
close in again in a minute. The 
presence of the F-180A at this par- 
ticular instant was just one of those 
one in a million lucky breaks. The 
pilot realized this. He put the ship 
into a dive and ordered his photog- 
rapher to ready the cameras. 

"The plane approached Yat at 



a speed above Mach 1.2, so there 
was no audible warning, and evi- 
dently the island's radar was off, for 
the surprise was complete. Within 
90 seconds the F-180A closed level 
just over the crater and shot past 
with only a thin stratus layer be- 
tween it and ground. Time over the 
crater was hardly 10 seconds, and 
neither pilot nor observer saw any- 
thing, but the synchronous vertical 
camera was operating and four 
flashes were made during the mid- 
dle four seconds. Then the plane 
was in the clouds again at a 45 de- 
gree climb and a dozen miles to- 
wards the Philippines before any- 
one on Yat could even get outdoors. 
"As might be expected there was 
a considerable protest over this vio- 
lation of Celebese territory, al- 
though oddly, it was based on 
moral grounds rather than national 
integrity. The protest was signed by 
the Lama of Macassar, and de- 
manded neither indemnity nor 
punishment of the pUot, but asked 
merely that incense be burned in 
Washington to appease Buddha. 
Now of course the Lama isn't that 
naive, or devout. As you may know, 
Phobat Rau was educated at Har- 
vard and CIT, and is a thoroughly 
trained and tough statesman who 
knows his way around anywhere, 
and doesn't believe the theological 
hogwash in Pan-Buddhism any 
more than I do. So it was a ques- 
tion of getting behind his motive^. 
Of course, it could be a cover, but 
our final guess was that the protest 
was really made for the benefit of 
the faithful in Asia. This opinion 
was strengthened, at least as far as 
I am concerned, about a fortnight 

ago when Rau attended the British 
Embassy reception for Lord Hayes. 
He didn't avoid me, but actually 
seemed to single me out as a foil 
for some of his witty small talk. 
Asked if I was much of a student 
of Buddhist architecture and carv- 
i|jgs, and if I had seen the Kyoto 
Buddha, or the reclining Buddha 
oil" the Yangtze. He was fishing, of 
course, but I played it dumb, and 
presently he gave up. 

"Well, there you have it, at least 
as far as the picture is concerned. 
The Buddhists were considerably 
upset, for they tightened up secur- 
ity all over the islands. And then 
you came into the scene. Naturally 
nobody believed that you were just 
after Celebese* man, but the gover- 
nor granted permission — so easily, 
in fact, that we got suspicious. 
Americans are no match for orleii- 
tal subtlety, but we do have a few 
tricks, one of whom is a code clerk 
in the Macassar foreign office, and 
from her we learned that you were 
set for the preferred treatment: to 
be let in easily, and then knocked 
off in some painless way. Hence the 
taxi, and the sneak ride here." 

He paused. "That's the situation 
to date, gentlemen. Any questions?" 

Martin had been studying the 
photograph. "At what altitude was 
this taken?" 

The consul shook his head. "The 
autorecorder was off. The observer 
forgot to set it, in the rush." 

"Well, couldn't they estimate?" 

"They did, but it's obviously way 
off. The pilot swears that he lev- 
elled at 9,000, but that would make 
these buildings a quarter of a mile 
long, and the Buddha at least five 



hundred feet. Unless you want to 
believe that they have another Wil- 
low Run on Yat, you can't take that 

Another pause. Finally Baker 
spoke. "You said you had a guess." 

"Yes, I have." Stimson seemed 
reluctant to speak. "But it sounds 
so damned fantastic I hate to tell it 
to you — ^well, to be short, I don't 
think that this Buddha is a statue." 

We all sat up. "Then what is it?" 
This from Martin. 

"I mean, not a statue of stone 
or masonry in the usual sense of the 
term. I think that it is a portable 
image of Buddha — an inflated gas 
bag like they use in the Easter pa- 
rade. I think they intend to float 
it in the air — perhaps tow it — to 
impress the faithful. If the thing's 
really 500 feet long, it may be a 
blimp or a rigid airship with its 
own motors. But, whatever the de- 
tails, I think our mystery is just a 
piece of propaganda for Neo-Bud- 
dhism, although a damned good 
one, from the native standpoint." 

We all relaxed. This was an an- 
ticlimax. Stimson had built us up to 
something — just what, we were ndt 
sure — and then had pricked the 

"Well, it sounds reasonable," 
Baker finally remarked, returning 
the print to Stimson, "although not 
particularly dangerous, and certain- 
ly not worth risking our necks to 
spy on. However, I don't think it's 
good enough to explain all of the 
supplies that have gone into Yat." 

The consul nodded. "Yes, that's 
the rub. If they hadn't taken such 
pains to conceal the thing, I'd be 
inclined to call it just a cover for 

something else." 

"Maybe it still is," said Baker. 

Stimson looked at us carefully, as 
though making up his mind. 

"That is where you gentlemen 
come in," he said finally. "I have 
reason to believe that our picture 
has tipped their hand, that they are 
going ahead with whatever they 
have planned in the next few days. 
Someone's got to get to Yat first — 
someone who can observe intelli- 
gently, and speak the language. My 
staff is all clerical, and tifiere is no 
chance to get any CIA men now. 
You're the only ones available." 

He paused. We looked at each 
other, and then at Baker. He 
cleared his throat a couple of times, 
took another squint at the photo, 
and then spoke. 

"Speaking for myself, Stimson, 
when do we leave?" 

"That goes for me too," said 
Martin. Chamberlin and I nodded. 

Stimson seemed relieved. "I'd 
hoped to hear that. In fact, I'd 
have been considerably embar- 
rassed if you gentlemen hadn't 
come through, because I have a sea- 
plane waiting right now to take 
you to Yat." 


THE NEXT two hours passed 
swiftly. Once the decision was 
made, we all became so involved in 
the details of preparation as to have 
no more time for reflection, either 
upon the nature of what we should 
find on the island of Yat, or the 
possible personal consequences of 
our expedition. 
First Stimson briefed us on the 



geography of our objective. Yat was 
a volcanic island, one of a group 
strung across the shallow sea east 
of Borneo and north of Celebese. It 
was almost circular, with a diame- 
ter of about seven miles, and was 
entirely covered by a dense tropical 
forest. The principal feature of the 
island was an extinct volcanic 
crater, rising to an altitude of 2,000 
feet, at the east end of the Island. 
The crater measured about two 
miles across, and perhaps a third of 
its area was filled with water from 
a narrow channel leading to the 
sea. Photos taken before the closure 
of Yat by the Indonesians showed 
a typical Malay isle: cocoanut and 
mango plantations, with forests of 
gum and mahogaiy climbing and 
filling most of the crater. The en- 
trance channel was narrow and 
quite deep and the interior lake 
constituted an ideally sheltered an- 
chorage. On the east coast the land 
rose steeply in a series of mossy 
cliffs over which waterfalls poured, 
while to the west, away from the 
volcano, plantations stretched in- 
land from the coral beaches. 

As we studied the pictures and 
charts, Stimson briefed us on the 
course of action. 

"Your first objective is to find 
out what they're doing in that 
crater. Are they building some new 
weapon, or training an army, or 
what. You'll have Geiger counters 
and a krypton analyser of course, 
although the analyser is no guaran- 
tee in detecting fissionable material 
production. Then we want to know 
what their plans are, particularly in 
the next few days or weeks. Finally, 
just who is involved in it? Is New 

Buddhism entirely Asiatic, as they 
claim, or has Russia cut herself in 

"You will be landed on the west 
coast of the island just after sim- 
set. The east, with its cliff and en- 
trance channel is undoubtedly too 
well guarded, but on the west side, 
with four miles of flat country, they 
may depend on defense in depth, 
so that you'll have a better chance 
of getting past the beach. The 
plane will come in low, make a 
landing just off the breakers and 
drop you off in rubber swim suits. 
It will then taxi to the north of the 
island and make a fairly long stop, 
to divert attention, since it will cer- 
tainly be picked up by radar. Your 
job will be to swim ashore, bury the 
rubber suits, and make your way 
east to the crater. If you reach the 
rim, see what you can, and report 
by radio at any hour. If you don't 
make it to the top, observe as much 
as possible on the island, make your 
reports, and rendezvous with the 
plane at your landing point at 2400 
the next day. If you miss that time, 
a plane will be back daily at the 
same time for four days. After that, 
we will assume that you have been 

We were driven to the harbor in 
the same disreputable taxicab 
which had brought us to the con- 
sulate a few hours before. Time was 
a little past three in the afternoon 
as the seaplane roared down a lane 
in the swarm of junks, tramp 
freighters and warships of the In- 
donesian state. We hoped that we 
were not too well observed; there 
was no way of knowing until we ar- 
rived on Yat, and the learning 



might not be too pleasant. 

The flight northeast from New 
Macassar was imeventful. We 
passed over a blue tropical sea, 
dotted with island jewels. For a 
time the low coast of the great is- 
land of Celebes made a blue haze 
on the eastern horizon, and then 
we had the ocean to ourselves. At 
dusk there were still two hundred 
miles between us and Yat, a flight 
of about forty minutes. Pulling 
down the shades, lest the cabin 
lights reveal us to a chance Indo- 
nesian patrol, we busied ourselves 
with packing the portable radio 
equipment and putting on our 
watertight clothing. 

The last fifty miles were made 
on the deck — in fact, once or twice 
the hull actually touched a wave- 
top. The pilot extinguished the 
cabin lights and we peered ahead 
for a first glimpse of our objective. 
The sky was clear, but the moon 
would not rise until nine, so that 
the only indication we had that Yat 
was at hand was a slight deepening 
in the tropic night ahead and to 
the right, which the pilot said 
marked Mount Kosan, the ancient 
crater. But no sooner had we gotten 
this vaguely orienting information, 
than the flaps were lowered, the 
plane slowed to under 100 miles 
per hour, and we touched the wa- 
ter. The co-pilot opened the side 
door, and we crouched together 
peering out. The plane taxied over 
a choppy cross sea toward the 
shadow of the island, while we 
squinted through the salt spray. 
Presently the engines dropped to 
idle, and the rumble of surf became 

"Practically dead calm tonight," 
said the co-pilot reassuringly. "Wind 
usually dies out at sunset. You 
won't have any trouble getting 
through. Just watch your step when 
you're adiore." 

"That's always good advice for 
sailors," remarked Baker. 

As the plane lost headway, the 
white line of surf and the silhou- 
ettes of cocoa palms took shape. 
Evidently the plantations came 
right to the water's edge at this 
point, a circumstance for which we 
were all thankful. I was just turn- 
ing to Martin with some remark 
about this when the pilot called 
softly and urgently. "We're as close 
as we can drift safely. Jump, and 
good luck." 

"Righto, and thanks," came 
Baker's voice, and then a splash. I 
was next. I took a deep breath, 
and clutched my rubber covered 
bundle of radio gear. I leaped out 
into darkness. An instant later I 
was gasping for air beside Baker. 
Two more splashes in quick succes- 
sion and then the engines picked 
up speed, the dark shape of the 
wing overhead moved off, and we 
were alone. 

FOR A moment we swam in 
circles, getting our bearings. 
Baker had removed his glasses for 
the jump, and so we depended 
mainly on Martin for directions. 
There was really no need for worry, 
however, for it soon became ap- 
parent that a strong onshore cur- 
rent was bringing us in to the 
breakers at a good clip. The line of 
phosphorescence marking their 



crests was now hardly a hundred 
yards away. 

With Martin in the lead we be- 
gan to swim. Presently one of the 
swells picked us up quite gently, 
moved us forward, and then sud- 
denly exploded into a foamy tor- 
rent which tossed us head over heels 
and left us gasping and spitting 
sand on the beach. 

As quickly as possible we got into 
the shelter of the first ranks of trees. 
Here we dug a hole at the base of 
a great cocoanut palm and buried 
the rubber suits and cases of radio 
gear, along with a small vial of 
radium D. This had been provided 
for us, along with the Geiger count- 
er, by the thorough Mr. Stimson as 
a means for locating our cache 
when we returned, if we should 
miss our bearings. 

It was 7 : 45 when this chore was 
completed. We had an hour and 
twenty-three minutes to moonrise. 

Turning inland, we walked in 
silence through the grove for a few 
hundred yards, and then came 
upon a road. This we recognized, 
from our map study, as the main 
coastal highway. We hurried across, 
rather elated at the progress we 
were making and a little surprised 
at the lack of fences or other pro- 
tective devices on the island. Things 
seemed just too easy. 

On the other side of the road we 
encountered a rice paddy, which 
made the going a good deal more 
difficult. But after about ten min- 
utes of sloshing through this, we 
came to a diagonal road, or rather 
path which seemed to be going our 
way. Thanks to this, by 8 : 45 we felt 
the ground rising underfoot and 

sensed a darker bulk in the shadows 
ahead, which could only be Mount 
Kosan itself. Here we came to our 
first fence, and affair of steel posts 
and barbed wire, which appeared 
to be a guard against cattle, but 
hardly more. After inspecting one 
of the posts for signs of electrifica- 
tion, we crawled under the bottom 
wire and started up the slope. 

"Are you sure we're on the right 
island?" asked Chamberlin. "From 
the security measures I don't think 
we're going to find anything more 
secret than a copra plantation." 

Baker shushed him, and whis- 
pered back, "We're on the right is- 
land, but that's the only thing that's 
right. This is simply too easy to be 

"Well," said Martin, "Stimson 
could be all wet. Maybe they're just 
sculping a king sized Buddha after 

The slope had now steepened con- 
siderably, and further conversation 
died out in the effort of climbing. 
The volcano was heavily forested 
all the way up with mahogany and 
guiji trees, and a dense under- 
growth of vines and ferns entangled 
our feet. Twice we came upon rap- 
idly flowing streams. 

We were perhaps two thirds of 
the way up when the moon ap- 
peared. Its light didn't penetrate 
very far into the dense foliage, but 
it did enable us to make out the top 
of the mountain, which took the 
form of a vine covered outcrop of 
lava. We altered our course slightly, 
and at 9:50 P.M. the forest fell 
away and we faced a rough wall of 
rock some two hundred feet in 



Before tackling this last obstacle, 
we paused for a rest and some h&t 
coffee from the thermos which was 
included in our equipment. Then, 
at five minutes past ten, we started 
the final ascent. 

The cliff proved to be niore of a 
climb than we had anticipated, and 
the time was close to eleven before 
we pulled ourselves up over the last 
boulder and could look across the 
crater to the other rim. 

The last few feet we negotiated 
with the greatest caution. Martin, I 
think, was first, and he pulled him- 
self on his belly across to the begin- 
ning of the inner slope. He lay 
quietly for a half minute, then mut- 
tered something under his breath 
which sounded vaguely like "I'll be 
damned", and made way for Baker, 
who was next. I squeezed in beside 
him, and so we got a look into the 
crater at the same time. Baker, be- 
ing a very self-contained man, made 
no audible comment, but I must 
have, for the sight which met our 
eyes was certainly the last thing I 
had expected to see. 

The crater of Mount Kosan was 
filled with steel and concrete struc- 
tures of gargantuan size, and of the 
most amazing shapes I had ever 
seen. I say amazing, but I do not 
mean in the sense of unfamiliar, on 
the contrary these Incredible ob- 
jects had the commonest shapes. 
Had it not been for trees and nor- 
mal buildings to give the scene a 
scale, I would have sworn that we 
were looking into a picnic grounds 
a hundred feet across instead of a 
two mile diameter plain ringed by 
mountains 2,000 feet high. The 
buildings seen in the aerial photo 

occupied only a small part of the 
crater — all of the other structures 
must have been concealed by 

DIRECTLY below our perch 
the rim dropped vertically 
into deep shadows, as the moonlight 
reached but half the crater. A thou- 
sand yards west of us, where the 
light first touched the floor, we 
could make out several clumps of 
brush or small trees, among which 
was set a rectangular concrete sur- 
face measuring perhaps four hun- 
dred feet square, and resting on 
hundred foot steel columns. Near 
this, and partly supported by the 
side of the mountain was what ap- 
peared to be a great table, of rough- 
ly the same area, but standing on 
trussed columns the height of a 
thirty story building. In front of 
this was a chair, if by chair you un- 
derstand me to mean a boxlike 
building twenty stories high, with a 
braced back rising as far again. A 
half mile along the rim was an 
even larger structure whose dimen- 
sions could only be measured in 
fractions of miles, which resembled 
nothing more than a vast shed built 
against the cliff. 

Next my attention was attracted 
to a number of objects lying upon 
the platform immediately west of 
us. One of these appeared to be a 
steel bowl-like container some thirty 
feet deep and a hundred in diame- 
ter, like the storage tanks used in oil 
fields. Nearby was an open tank 
measuring perhaps fifty feet in each 
dimension, and beside this were the 
most startling of all — several hun- 



dred foot pieces of built-up struc- 
tural steel resembling knife, fork 
and spoon. 

In retrospect, the deduction from 
this evidence was obvious, but as 
we stared down at this spectacle, a 
sort of numbness took hold of our 
minds. As a later comparison of 
impressions verified, none of us 
came remotely near guessing the 
truth in those incredible seconds. 
For what seemed like minutes we 
just stared, and then the spell was 
broken. Walt had squeezed in be- 
side me, where he gave vent to a 
low whistle of amazement. Baker 
shushed him, and then shifted to a 
better position, in so doing knock- 
ing a rock from the ledge. This 
started a small avalanche which 
went clattering down the cliff with 
a sound, to our hypersensitive ears, 
like thunder. We all froze in our 
places, abruptly aware that the 
moon illuminated us like actors in 
a spotlight. For a good minute we 
waited tense, and then gradually 
relaxed. Baker started to say some- 
thing when without warning the 
ground beneath us shook, starting a 
score of rockslides. We recoiled 
from the edge and braced for a 
stronger earthquake shock. Then 
suddenly Baker uttered a hoarse cry. 
He was pointing— pointing down 
into the blackness at our feet where 
our eyes had as yet been unable to 
penetrate. Something was there, 
something vast and dim and shape- 
less like a half inflated airship. Then 
a part of it was detached and came 
u]i .iliiiost to our level. It moved too 
rapidly for any detail to be seen — 
our only im]jression was of a vast 
white LoluiMti large as the Washing- 

ton monument which swung up in- 
to the moonlight and then was 
withdrawn. At the same time the 
ground quivered anew, starting 
fresh slides. 

We blinked stupidly for several 
seconds, and then became conscious 
for the first time of the sound. It 
was like a vast cavernous wheeze at 
first, and then a series of distinct 
wet thuds followed by a prolonged 
gurgling rumble. If these descrip- 
tive phrases sound strange and awk- 
ward, let me give assurance that 
they are as nothing to the eerie 
quality of the noises themselves. 
We lay glued to our rocky perch, 
hardly daring to breathe, until the 
last windy sigh had died away. 

Baker found his voice first. 
"Good God, it's something alive!" 

Chamberlin tried to reason. "It 
can't be — why, it's two hundred 
feet high — it's just a gas bag, like 
Stimson said. It's — " 

He stopped. The thing had 
moved again, more rapidly and 
with purpose. The great column 
rose, then pressed down into the 
ground and pushed the main bulk 
up out of the shadows. There was 
a moment of confusion while our 
senses tried to grasp shape and scale 
at the same time, and then it all 
came into focus as the thing arose 
into the light. At one instant we 
were sane humans, trying to make 
out a great billowy form wallowing 
in the darkness below. In the next 
instant we were madmen, staring 
into a human face a hundred feet 
wide, that peered back at us from 
the level of the cliff top! For a sec- 
ond we were all still — we four, and 
that titanic placid oriental face 



hanging before us in the moonlight. 
Then the great eyes blinked sleep- 
ily and the thing started to move 
toward us. 

I cannot recall in detail what 
happened. I remember someone 
screamed, an animal cry of pure 
terror. It may have been me, al- 
though Baker claims to be the 
guilty one. In any case the four of 
us arose as one and plunged head- 
first oS our rock into the tangle of 
brush at the top of the cliff. I think 
that only the vines saved us from 
certain death in that first mad in- 
stant. I know that we were wrestling 
with them for what seemed like an 
eternity. They wrapped around my 
legs, tangled in my arms. They were 
like clutching hands, holding me 
back in a nightmare-like struggle, 
while the thing in the crater came 
closer. Then abruptly I realized 
that they were hands, human hands 
seizing us, pulling us back from the 
cliff and then skillfully tieing us up. 

It was all over in a moment. The 
madness was ended. We were once 
more rational humans, tied hand 
and foot, and propped against the 
rocky ledge in front of a dozen yel- 
low-robed men. For a time we just 
breathed heavily — ourselves and 
our brown skinned captors alike. 
Then one of the latter spoke. 

"You can stand now, yes?" 

Baker struggled to his feet in re- 
ply. The rest of us did likewise, aid- 
ed not unkindly, by the yellow- 
robed men. Baker found his voice. 

"Thank you," he said. In the 
brightening moonlight we looked 
more carefully at our captors. They 
were of small stature, evidently 
Japanese, and, by their costume, 

all priests. 

Baker laughed briefly and 
glanced at the rest of us. "It would 
appear," he said dryly, "that we 
have been taken." 


THE LEADER of the priests 
indicated by a gesture that he 
wished us to move along a narrow 
trail cut in the vines along the rim. 
I attempted to get another look at 
the horror within the crater, but 
the ledge of rock down which we 
had just fallen stood in the way. We 
were guided into a pitch black trail 
which descended steeply into the 
forest on the outer slope of Mount 

I lost track of direction almost at 
once. The trail zigzagged a couple 
of times, and then I sensed that we 
were in a covered passage. After a 
few more steps and a turn, a light 
appeared ahead, to show we were 
walking in a concrete lined tunnel. 
Our captors had split themselves 
into two groups, a half dozen ahead 
and an equal number behind. Soon 
there appeared a metal door in one 
wall, which proved to be the en- 
trance to an elevator. We all 
squeezed in, and were taken dov^Ti 
a distance which surely must have 
brought us near to the crater floor 
itself. The door then opened, and 
again we were escorted along a con- 
crete passage. There were many 
turns. Our captors paused before a 
narrow door with a tiny barred win- 
dow. This was unlocked, we were 
directed to enter, and the door 
clanked shut behind us. 

For the first few minutes no one 



had anything to say. We examined 
the interior of our cell, but found 
nothing more remarkable than con- 
crete, a small ventilator hole near 
the ceiling, and a wooden bench 
along the wall opposite the door. 

Martin found his voice first. "A 
human being," he said slowly, "as 
big as the Woolworth Building!" 

Chamberlin, apparently still in- 
volved in his last abortive try at 
reason said, "But it's impossible. 
The laws of mechanics — why the 
biggest dinosaurs were only eighty 
feet long, and they had to be sup- 
ported by water. It's a mechanical 
device, I tell you." 

"It could have been an illusion," 
I ventured. "Perhaps an image pro- 
jected on a fog bank, or something 
similar — " Neither Walt nor I were 
very convincing — not with the 
memory of that face fresh in our 
minds. We all fell silent again. 

Several minutes passed, when 
abruptly we became conscious of a 
movement of the floor, slight but 
repeated with regularity. A shake, a 
pause of six or eight seconds, then 
another shake. Baker stood on the 
bench and put his ear to the venti- 
lator. He heard nothing. The move- 
ment came again. Shake, pause, 
shake, pause, like some distant and 
monstrous machine. I was remind- 
ed of the small earthquakes felt in 
the vicinity of a heavy drop ham- 
I mer. Shake, pause, shake, pause, 
and then a heavier jolt accompa- 
nied by a distinct thud. After that, 

"Obviously," Baker said, "they 
knew all about us." He was evident- 
ly thinking out loud. "Probably 
picked us up on the beach, and 

then just let us go on, clearing out 
the guards ahead, and keeping near 
enough to see that we didn't use 
the radio. Why? Maybe to find out 
how much we knew about the place 
already. I daresay they know one 
thing now: we never expected to 
find — what we did. Which brings 
us to our Buddha. The big question 
is, is it mechanical or — alive? He 
paused. "I don't know — none of us 
can know yet — ^but, I'm inclined to 
beUeve the latter. Cady, what's your 

I had forgotten for the moment 
that I was a zoologist. To tell the 
truth, the whole thing had been a 
little outside of the type of speci- 
men I was familiar with. 

"Its movements were lifelike," I 
replied. "They suggest muscular 
action rather than mechanical 
drive. But, as Walt says, it's just not 
possible. Nature has placed a limit 
on the size of living creatures. The 
strength of bones, the energy re- 
quirements, the ©smotic pressures 
needed to move fluids through tis- 
sue. Besides, where could it come 
from? There have been giants — 
eight, ten, maybe up to twelve feet 
— but this thing is of a different 
order of magnitude. It must weigh 
millions of pounds. As a zoologist, I 
can't believe that it's alive." 

Martin and Chamberlin had a 
few more remarks of the same na- 
ture, and then the conversation 
died away. We waited. Eventually 
they would come — the yellow- 
robed ones. When they did, we 
might learn more. I had little doubt 
as to our ultimate fate, but in the 
dulled condition of my senses, I 
didn't seem particularly to care. 



My watch had been smashed in 
the struggle, so that I had no idea 
of how long they kept us in the cell. 
It could not have been too many 
hours, for the elementary needs of 
nature had only begun to assert 
themselves when the sound of a key 
came from the door. We all stood 
up. It was our conductor of last 
night, the one who spoke pidgin 

"Good morning, gentlemens," he 
said with a bow. "You spend nice 
night, yes? Get plenty sleep?" 

We did not reply. Still smiling 
politely, he beckoned. "Now please 
to come with me. Head Lama talk 
to you now." 

ONCE MORE we traversed the 
interminable concrete corri- 
dors of that subterranean city, but 
this time we came out into a hall il- 
luminated by natural daylight. The 
walls here were neatly plastered, 
and tlie doors more ornamental. 

"Getting near the high brass," 
murmured Chamberlin. 

The last hall was terminated by 
a window and balcony, beyond 
which the green of a distant hill- 
side could be seen. Before we 
reached tfiis, however, our guide 
stopped at a heavy aluminum door 
and directed us into a sort of ante- 
room, occupied by uniformed 
guards and a male receptionist. A 
few words were exchanged in Japa- 
nese, and the guards quickly and 
expertly frisked us, although this 
had already been done once. This 
ceremony over, another door was 
opened and we were admitted to a 
large and sunny office, whose big 

windows gave a panoramic view of 
the whole crater. 

Our eyes were so dazzled by the 
sudden burst of light, and our curi- 
osity was so great to see that fantas- 
tic place by daylight, that we did 
not at once see the man who sat be- 
hind a desk opposite the windows, 
watching us with an expression of 
high amusement. Baker first noticed 

"Phobat Rau! So you're back of 
this, after all!" 

The other stood up. He was a 
short man, evidently Burmese, and 
wore a tan military uniform. His 
smile revealed a bonanza of gold 
teeth, while his thick lensed spec- 
tacles glittered in the brilliant sun- 
shine streaming in through the win- 

"It is a great pleasure to have you 
here. Professor Baker, although 
there is in the circumstances some 
cause for regret. But all that in its 
time. What do you think of our 

As he spoke. Baker was glancing 
about the room, and I saw that his 
eye had alighted upon an instru- 
ment just behind Rau's desk. A sec- 
ond look showed it to be a tape re- 
corder, with the operating lamp on. 

"Until we have more data," re- 
plied Baker, "our views are still as 
you have them recorded." 

Phobat Rau laughed delightedly. 
"You're a good observer, Professor. 
Yes, I must confess I was curious 
about your reactions to our charge. 
So you doubt that he is alive?" 

Baker nodded. "Under the cir- 
cumstances last night, there was 
every chance for a mistake, or a 



"In that case, perhaps you would 
like a second look. He's right across 
the valley now, having his break- 

We hastened to the window. 
Rau's office, we found, was in a sort 
of cliff house perched half way up 
the northern side of the crater, and 
commanded a view of the entire 
area, now brightly illuminated by 
the morning sunlight. We easily 
identified the enormous furniture of 
last night, against the west cliff 
about a mile away. But we had little 
interest in these structures, mon- 
strous as they were. For, sitting 
cross-legged on the ground before 
the low table, was the giant. At that 
distance he did not look so huge — 
in fact, with an effort we could al- 
most ignore scale and perspective 
and imagine that he was a normal 
human fifty feet distant. He ap- 
peared a typical young Japanese, 
his hair cut long in the old style, 
and wearing a sleeveless tunic like 
the statues of Buddha. His face was 
smooth and serene, and he was eat- 
ing a white pasty looking substance 
from his great steel dish, using a 
big spoon. Even as we watched, he 
finished the meal and stood up, 
causing the whole building to sway 
slightly. He glanced about for a 
moment, his eye lingering briefly in 
our direction, and then he walked 
in a leisurely way to the lagoon, 
where he bent over and rinsed out 
his utensils. Returning to the table, 
he placed them carefully in the po- 
sition we had noted last night. He 
then straightened to his full height, 
raised his great arms far up into the 
morning air and began a series of 
earth snaking calisthenics. After 

about ten minutes of this he walked 
over to the leanto structure, entered 
and closed a curtain behind him. 

Rau, who had been watching us 
with great amusement, offered an 

"His reading room. Books on his 
scale would be a bit difficult to 
make, so he uses microfilm and a 
projector. The microfilm," he add- 
ed, "is on eight by ten plates, and 
the screen is two hundred feet 

We returned to the desk and took 
the seats Rau indicated. 

"So now," said our host, "you 
would like to hear a word of expla- 
nation, perhaps?" 

"Several, if you can spare the 
time," answered Baker with a dry- 
ness equal to Rau's. 

"It all began," began Phobat 
Rau, "on a beautiful summer's day 
in 1945, August 6, I believe, was 
the exact date. Perhaps you recall 
what happened on that day, in the 
city of Hiroshima. If not, I will re- 
fresh your memories. A bomb was 
dropped on that day, a new type of 
bomb. It caused a great deal of de- 
struction, and killed tens of thou- 
sands of people. Some died at once 
from the blast and heat, but many 
more, who had escaped apparently 
uninjured, developed serious ill- 
ness days later and died. The cause 
you know, of course. It was called 
radiation injury, the internal de- 
struction of cell structure by gamma 
rays emitted by the bomb. 

"Many strange things happened 
in that blast. In some, injury was 
confined to particular parts of the 
body, as the hair. Others were made 
sterile, in fact, the reproductive 



function and apparatus seemed 
particularly susceptible to the 
rays. In many cases, the genes 
— ^those vital units within the cell 
which determine growth and struc- 
ture and all physical and mental 
characteristics — the genes were al- 
teredj so that children grew abnor- 
mally, with deformities or mental 

"But these things you well know. 
Afterwards biologists and physi- 
cians and geneticists came from all 
parts of the world to study the ef- 
fects of the atomic bomb, and the 
flow of learned papers on this sub- 
ject is not ended even now." 

THE SPEAKER paused, as if 
inviting some comment or 
question. Seeing that we intended 
to remain silent, he: resumed. 

"There was one case, however, 
which was not studied by western 
scientists. In many respects, it was 
the most interesting of all, for the 
bomb blast and the accompanying 
deluge of gamma radiation oc- 
curred just at the instant of concep- 
tion. As usual, damage was sus- 
tained by the genes, but this dam- 
age was of a peculiar and highly 
special sort. The only gene affected, 
apparently, was the one controlling 
growth, although, as you will see 
presently, other structural and 
chemical changes took place with- 
out which the growth could never 
have occurred. 

"The infant involved was a male, 
named Kazu Takahashi. He was 
bom prematurely on March 26, 
1946, with a weight of fourteen 
pounds six ounces. The parents 

were well to do, and the infant was 
given the best of care, first in a pri- 
vate hospital, and later in its own 

"During the first few days of life, 
little Kazu was apparently normal, 
except for his prematureness and a 
rather great weight for a seven- 
month infant. And then the change 
began. His nurse first noticed an in- 
creasing appetite. He cried con- 
stantly and would be silent only 
when feeding. He emptied nursing 
bottles in a few seconds, after he 
learned to pull off the nipple, and 
was soon consuming a quart of milk 
every hour. The nurse humored 
him, in order to keep him quiet, 
and presently became afraid to tell 
either the parents or the doctor just 
how much milk her charge was 
drinking. As the days passed and no 
ill effects developed, she became 
less worried, although the daily 
milk ration had to be increased 
twice, to 23 quarts a day on the 
sixth day. 

"Kazu doubled his weight in the 
first eleven days, and at the end of 
two weeks tipped the scales at 39 
pounds. His pink tender skin was 
now rapidly becoming normal in 
color and texture, and he was be- 
having more and more like an or- 
dinary child, although already of 
startling size. By the fourth week he 
was drinking 59 quarts of milk a 
day and weighed 145 pounds. The 
parents — by now thoroughly 
alarmed — called in the doctor, who 
at once realized the cause of the 
abnormality. He could offer no sug- 
gestions, however, save to continue 
feeding at a rate to keep the child 
quiet. This, by the sixth week, 



soared to the incredible figure of 
130 quarts a day to feed a baby 
now five feet tall and weighing 290 
pounds. At this point the Taka- 
hashi family felt that their problem 
was getting beyond them, and being 
Buddhists, they appealed to the lo- 
cal temple — it was not in Hiro- 
shima, but at a nearby town — for 
assistance. The priests took the 
child in, after a generous contribu- 
tion had been made by father Taka- 
hashi, and for a time the embarras- 
sing matter seemed solved. The 
Takahashis went on a three weeks 
vacation to the south coast of Hon- 
shu, and all was peaceful, external- 
ly at least. 

"When the family returned, they 
found a note under the door ur- 
gently requesting their presence at 
the temple. When they arrived, 
they were met by a highly agitated 
chief priest. Something had to be 
done, he said. Things were getting 
out of hand. He then took them to 
the nursery. Here they beheld a 
baby that would have been seven 
feet eight inches tall if it could 
stand, and which had weighed in 
that morning on the platform scales 
in the temple kitchen, at 670 
pounds. After hearing the details of 
the milk bill, father Takahashi 
wrote out another check and de- 
parted hurriedly. 

"After the passage of three more 
weeks, a delegation from the temple 
again waited upon Mr. Takahashi, 
with the news that his son now 
measured 9 feet 3 inches in length, 
weighed 1175 pounds, and con- 
sumed the entire output of a local 
dairy. They politely requested that 
he take care of his own infant. Mr. 

Takahashi as politely refused, and 
at this point bowed out of oUr 
story completely." 

Phobat Rau hesitated again and 
inquired if his statistics were boring 
us. Baker glanced out of the win- 
dow and replied that while he or- 
dinarily did not have much appre- 
ciation of figures of this kind, un- 
der the circumstances they had a 
certain interest. Rau smiled briefly 
and continued. 

"The summer of 1946 was one of 
increasing difficulty for the temple. 
By the beginning of July Kazu 
weighed 1600 pounds and cried 
with a voice like a wounded bull. A ' 
number of trustworthy medical 
men examined him, and concurred 
that his only abnormality was size. 
In bodily proportions he was quite 
ordinary, and, for a Sj/a month 
baby, his mental development was, 
if anything, a bit ahead of normal. 
The priests took in their belts, ap- 
pointed eight of the strongest as 
nursemaids, and wondered where 
it would all end. 

"It was at this point that a mem- 
ber of the Buddhist priesthood from 
Burma happened to pass through 
the neighborhood and heard of the 
infant. After being sworn to secrecy ; 
even from other members of his or- 
der, he was allowed to view little 
Kazu. Now this priest, whose name 
I might as well admit was Phobat 
Rau, had perhaps a bit more imagi- 
nation than some others, and when 
he looked upon the little monster, 
he was struck by an idea which was 
to grow like Kazu himself." 

"The Living Buddha," mur- 
mured Baker, "Ye Gods, what a 



Rau nodded like a schoolteacher. 
"A symbol, and more. A machine 
to rebuild the world, or conquer 

lAKER chose to ignore this 
leading remark. He wanted 
more of the story. 

"So you took him over?" 
"Well, it was not so easy as that. 
You see, I was only a young priest 
then, and had no resources to un- 
dertake such a project. But the 
more I thought of the possibilities, 
the more sure I was. But first I had 
to convince others, and time was 
short. The priests were near to 
their limit, and were about to ap- 
peal to the Americans. I secured 
their promise to wait until I could 
return to Burma, and then I flew to 
Bangkok, to Rangoon, to every cen- 
ter of Buddhism where I was 
known. It was a sales trip, you 
might say, and for a time I thought 
that I had failed. But there were 
also forces working for me. The 
world was uncertain. The commu- 
nists were at the start of their tri- 
umphal sweep over Asia, and the 
leaders of our faith foresaw what 
lay ahead. On the first of August, 
1946, a delegation of priests from 
eight Buddhist countries journeyed 
to Japan to view Kazu, who was 
now a lusty 4]!^ months old, 12ya 
feet long and of 2914 pounds 
weight. He was in fine health, and 
when he slept the resemblance to 
the infant Buddha was startling. 
You gentlemen are worldly men, 
and I pride myself upon freedom 
from the more naive illusions of my 
faith, but perhaps you can try to 

imagine that our feelings were not 
entirely those of ambitious schem- 
ers — that perhaps within us was 
some higher motive for the step we 
took. Our poor suffering Asia was 
in deeper misery than ever before, 
for atop her own famine and war 
had come also the troubles -of the 
west. Under the Red flag millions of 
our deluded countrymen were tak- 
ing arms against their brothers. 
Confused by a glib ideology, they 
were daily turning more from the 
religion of their fathers. Although 
we did not speak it, we all felt in- 
wardly that perhaps there was a 
purpose in this great infant — that, 
though we made promises with 
tongue in cheek, perhaps a miracle 
would occur to fulfill them. 

"And so we arranged to trans- 
port Kazu Takahashi from Japan 
to a safe location where he might 
grow to manhood, where he might 
be suitably educated to take the 
place that we would prepare for 
him. The details of this move were 
not difficult to arrange. A special 
traveling crib 20 feet long was 
built, and in this by truck, lighter 
and motor junk he was carried by 
easy stages to this island. Here we 
established a great monastery, sur- 
rounded by rice and fruit planta- 
tions. Here we brought physicians 
and scholars to care for him and 
plan his education, and we built a 
nursery to accommodate his in- 
creasing bulk. 

"We did not know, of course, 
what his final size would be. We 
kept careful records of his growth, 
but even after the first year he was 
not more than ten times the normal 
height. But year by year we had to 



revise our estimates, for his growth 
soon accelerated beyond our wild- 
est expectations. For a time indeed 
we feared that it would never stop 
and that he would die of starvation 
when the world could no longer 
feed him. For a time also we were 
sure diat he would never be able 
to stand, through the action of sim- 
ple mechanical laws relating to 
weight and the size of bones, but 
apparently nature has provided a 
marvelous compensation, for his 
bones, as revealed by X-rays, are of 
a density and strength equal to that 
of steel. 

"His feeding was always a prob- 
lem, although fortunately its in- 
crease was not beyond oinr abDity to 
organize and plan. At first we sup- 
plied him from plantations on Yat 
and on neighboring islands. Then 
we were forced to organize Neo- 
Buddhism as an implement to so- 
licit contributions of food and 
money. Perforce we took many into 
partial confidence, but the complete 
story was known only to those on 

"On his first birthday Kazu was 
29i/a feet long and weighed 30,100 
pounds. By his second birthday he 
could walk, and now surpassed all 
land animals save the monsters of 
the Jurassic age, with a height to 
51 feet and a weight of 158,000 
pounds. During 1949, while the 
communists were overrunning 
China, our Buddha grew from 70 
to 82 feet. In June of 1950, while 
the world watched the flames of 
war kindle in Korea, we saw him 
exceed the capacity of our million 
pound scale. In the year of 1950 
also we built his first schoolroom 

and developed the system of pro- 
jected pictures and letters used in 
his education. 

"In 1951, Buddha's increasing 
appetite combined with the inroads 
made by the communists upon our 
territory brought a crisis. He was 
now 200 feet tall, weighed seven 
million pounds and ate as much as 
75,000 men. In spite of all our ef- 
forts, his food supply was dwind- 
ling and, worse, the communists 
were becoming suspicious. And so 
we were forced to a decision. We 
had to appeal to the western world. 
But to whom? To America, or to 
Russia? You all know the situation 
in 1952, the time of the false peace. 
We turned to Russia. They sent a 
commission to investigate, and then 
acted with dispatch. Russia would 
feed our Buddha, but on a condi- 
tion: Neo-Buddhism must sponsor 

"We had no choice. Now that the 
secret was out, Russia had Yat at 
its mercy. So we agreed, but with 
one reservation. We alone should 
direct the education of Kazu. To 
this Russia agreed. Perhaps they 
considered that it was unimportant. 
Perhaps they thought that Kazu 
was an idiot, useful only as a sym- 
bol. But they agreed, and so his edu- 
cation continued in the tradition of 
Buddhist scholarship. He is well 
read, gentlemen. He knows the 
classics of China, and of India, and 
of the west also. I myself taught 
him English. At the request of our 
sponsors, he has studied Russian. 
He is still young, but he has an in- 
quiring mind. When he takes his 
true place in the world, he may not 
always be the tool of the Kremliri. 



But of these things even I am not 
given to know." 

Rau paused, and indicated the 
window. Buddha was emerging 
from his leanto. 

"Look well, gentlemen. There 
stands the hope of Asia. There is 
the Living Buddha himself. He is 
only 19 years of age, but he stands 
590 feet high, and weighs 
198,000,000 pounds. At first he will 
be but a symbol, but soon he will be 
much more. The time of compro- 
mise, I promise you, will not last 

Rau stopped. We waited for him 
to resume, but instead, he pressed 
a button on his desk. Immediately 
several members of the guard en- 
tered. Rau now addressed us in a 
new voice. 

"Gentlemen, you probably won- 
der why I have spoken so frankly of 
all of this. To be candid, to a cer- 
tain extent I wonder also. Perhaps 
it is to get it off my chest, as you 
say. Perhaps it is just pride in what 
I have done. But whatever the rea- 
son, the consequences for you are 
regrettable. Your spying trip to Yat 
alone is sufficient for death ; what I 
have told you makes your return a 
complete impossibility, I am sorry, 
particularly for you. Baker. We 
shall do it as humanely as possible. 
Good day." 

The guards, as upon a signal, 
closed in on us. For a second I 
thought insanely of flight, or a 
plunge through the great windows 
to certain death on the crags below. 
But there was no chance. Before 
any thought could be translated 
into action we were back in the 
corridor, escorted by an augmented 

guard of priests, on our way back 
to our cell, and death. A death that 
would bfr — as "humane as pos- 


IT WAS not until some minutes 
after the steel door had clicked 
shut that the full realization of our 
predicament came to us. Rau's 
story had been so fascinating, and 
his manner so rational and civilized 
that we all had forgotten that he 
was of a race and ideology opposed 
to all that we stood for, and that we 
were spies caught red-handed in the 
innermost shrine of Neo-Buddhisrti. 
Even after twenty years of cold war, 
all of our civilized instincts rose 
against the idea that a suave bril- 
liant intellectual like Phpbat Rau 
could so cold bloodedly order our 

But the awakening was at hand. 
If we doubted Rau's intentions, one 
look at the cold Mongol faces of the 
guards was enough to dispel any 
hope. Baker tried to sum it up. 

"No use trying to argue with him. 
Fact is, we won't even see Rau 
again. We could, of course, simply 
call it quits and wait for them, but 
I'd rather fight it out. Anyone have 
an idea?" 

Martin hopped up on the bench 
and studied the ventilator. He 
reached one arm in as far as pos- 
sible, and reported that there was a 
bend about a foot in. While he was 
doing this, Chamberlin made a 
minute investigation of the door, 
but found that neither hinges nor 
lock were accessible. There were no 
other openings into the chamber 



save the electric conduit which pre- 
sumably entered above the electric 
fixture in the ceiling. Filially Baker 

"Nothing we can do until they 
come for us. We'd better plan 
towards that, unless they're going 
to gas us through the ventilator." 

This unpleasant thought had not 
occurred to the rest of us before. 
Martin returned to the opening and 
sniffed, and then with happy in- 
spiration, he rolled up his jacket 
and stufTed it in. Baker nodded ap- 

So the time passed. We listened 
at the door for footsteps but none 
came. Presently we became aware 
of a now familiar sensation. The 
floor commenced to shake gently 
and regularly. We counted the 
steps. There were twelve, and then 
they stopped. Chamberlin calcu- 
lated mentally. 

"Say, about 250 feet per step. 
That would be three thousand feet 
— six tenths of a mile. Wonder 
where — " 

Martin, still near the ventilator, 
shushed him, and pulled the coat 
out. Through the small hole we 
heard a deep sound, a sort of low 
pitched irregular rumble. Baker 
suddealy jumped up and Ustened at 
the opening. After a bit the sound 
stopped. Baker became excited. 

"It was a voice," he explained. "I 
think it was his voice. It was speak- 
ing Japanese. I couldn't catch 
many words, but I think he was 
talking about us." 

Now the rumble came again, and 
louder. A few words, a pause, and 
then more words, as though he was 
in conversation with someone 

whom we could not hear. Baker lis- 
tened intently, but he could catch 
only fragments, owing to his small 
knowledge of Japanese and the ex- 
tremely low pitched articulation of 
the giant. Presently the voice rose 
to a volume which literally made 
the mountain tremble, and then it 

Baker shook. his head. "Couldn't 
make it out. I think he was inquir- 
ing where we were, but it was too 
idiomatic. I think he became ex- 
cited or angry at the last." 

"Fee, fi, fo, fum," said Chamber- 
lin. "Now wouldn't that be an in- 
teresting end?" 

Martin laughed. "We wouldn't 
even be enough to taste." 

As no one else seemed anxious to 
pursue this subject further, we sub- 
sided into a sort of lethargy. Even 
plans for what we should do when 
the guards came were forgotten. 
And then, suddenly, the door was 

We all sprang to our feet. A 
priest— in fact, the same one who 
had brought us here originally — 
came in. A squad of guards stood 

"Good afternoon, how are you? 
Chief Priest ask me to tell you, 
Buddha wish to see you. Please you 
come with me." He politely indi- 
cated the door. 

With a shrug Baker complied, 
and the rest of us followed. Down 
the hall we marched again, through 
all of the turns of the morning and 
so at last into the corridor which 
ended in a window. This time we 
passed the aluminum door and con- 
tinued right to the end. The win- 
dow, we now saw, was really a 



French door which opened to a 
small balcony. Our guide opened 
the door and pushed us out. The 
bakony, we found, was about four 
hundred feet above the valley floor, 
but we did not spend much time 
enjoying the view. 

Scarcely fifty feet in front of us 
stood the Living Buddha! 

For a full minute we stared at 
each other, and then I began to 
realize that he was embarrassed! A 
wrinkle appeared between his eyes 
and he swallowed a couple of times. 
Then he spoke. 

"Good afternoon. Professor Bak- 
er and party. I am happy to meet 

The voice, and particularly the 
language, so startled us that for a 
moment nobody could think of a 
reply. The voice was a deep pulsing 
rumble, like the tone of the biggest 
pipes of an organ, and filled with a 
variety of glottal wheezings and 
windy overtones. I think it was 
through these additional sounds 
rather than the actual tones that we 
could understand him at all, for the 
fundamentals were surely below the 
ordinary limits of human audibility. 
What we heard and could translate 
into articulate words was hardly 
more than a cavernous whisper. 
The important thing was that we 
could understand him, and, more 
than that, that he was friendly. 
Baker made reply at last. 

"Good afternoon. We also are 
happy, and most honored. How 
should we address you?" 

"My name is Kazu Takahashi, 
but I am told that I am also 
Buddha. This I would like to dis- 
cuss with you, if you have time." 

"We have time for nothing else," 
said Baker. 

Buddha's eyebrows raised slight- 
ly. "So I was right. They are going 
to kill you." 

Baker glanced at us meaningful- 
ly. This giant was no fool. Sudden- 
ly there came over me a little thrill 
of hope. Maybe — but he was speak- 
ing again. 

"I have not before had oppor- 
tunity to talk to men from west. 
Only from China, Japan, Soviet 
State. You will tell me of rest of 

"With pleasure," said Baker. 

I became conscious that the door 
behind us was opening, I glanced 
back, and saw Phobat Rau, sur- 
rounded by guards and priests. He 
gestured to us to come in. Baker 
turned, while Buddha bent his head 
closer to see also. 

Rau came to the door. "Come 
back," he called urgently. "You are 
in grave danger. You must come 

QUITE definitely I had no de- 
sire to go in. Neither did Bak- 
er, for he shook his head and moved 
away from the door. Rau's face was 
suddenly enraged. He made a quick 
motion to the guards, and then 
held them back. With an evident 
effort he calmed himself and called 
again, softly. 

"Please come in. I was hasty this 
morning. I am sorry. I think now I 
see a way for you to return safely, if 
you will come in." 

For reply. Baker turned to the 
giant. He climbed upon the rail of 
the balcony. 



"Take us away from here, if you 
wish to hear what we have to say. 
Take us, or they will kill us!" 

In answer, Buddha extended one 
hand, palm up, so that it was level 
with the balcony. For an instant I 
hesitated at the sight of that irregu- 
lar rough surface, big as a city 
block, and then I heard steps be- 
hind us and a click. With one ac- 
cord we leaped over the parapet 
just as a scattered volley of pistol 
shots rang out. We tumbled head 
over heels down a rough leathery 
slope into a hollow, and then the 
platform lifted like a roller coaster. 
In a second the balcony, the whole 
hillside vanished and we went 
rocketing up into the blue sky. A 
gale of wind blew past, almost car- 
rying us with it, and then a portion 
of the surface rose and became 
thirty foot tree trunks which curled 
incredibly over and around us, 
forming a small cavern which shut 
out the wind and held us securely 
against falling. 

Buddha had closed his fist. 

For a breathless fifteen seconds 
we were carried in darkness, and 
then the great hand unfolded. It 
was lying flat on an immense 
smooth area of concrete, which we 
presently identified as the higher of 
the two tables. We got to our feet 
and staggered to the edge of the 
|);ilm. Here we met another prob- 
liin, in the form of a rounded ten 
loot drop-off to the concrete table. 
As we stood looking down in dis- 
may, the other vast hand came up 
lioin below, carrying a heavy sheet 
of inclal. This was carefully placed 
wiili one edge on the hand and the 
other on the table, forming a ramp. 

Holding onto each other for mutual 
support, we made our way to the 
table and there literally collapsed. 
Chamberlin became violently sick, 
and none of the rest of us felt much 
better. The giant carefully with- 
drew both hands and watched us 
from a distance of a hundred yards, 
with only the head and upper part 
of his body visible. 

From our position on the con- 
crete platform I now looked closely 
at Kazu for the first time. My first 
impression was not so much one of 
size, as of an incredible richness of 
detail. It was hke examining a nor- 
mal human through a powerful mi- 
croscope, except here the whole was 
visible at once. Even at a distance 
of two hundred feet, the hair, the 
eyelashes, the pores of the skin 
showed up with a texture and form 
which I had never noted before, 
even in my studies as a biologist. 
The general effect was most con- 
fusing, for I would lose and regain 
the sense of scale, first thinking of 
him as an ordinary man, and then 
realizing the proportion. The near- 
est comparison that I can think of 
is the sensation when standing very 
close to a large motion picture 
screen, but here the image is blurry 
whereas I saw with a clarity and 
sharpness that was simply unbe- 

Buddha seemed to realize our 
condition, for he smiled sympathet- 
ically, and waited until poor Walt 
had recovered somewhat from his 
nausea. Baker, as spokesman, re- 
newed the conversation. Walking a 
few steps toward the front of the 
enormous desk, he spoke in a loud 
clear voice. 



"You have saved our lives. We 
thank you." 

The great head nodded benignly, 
and after a thoughtful pause, that 
strange voice began. 

"My teachers have brought oth- 
ers before me to lecture, but always 
I know that they speak only as they 
are told to speak. You are different. 
I am glad that I saw you last night, 
or I would never know that you 
had come." 

He paused, evidently gathering 
his thoughts for the next foray into 
an unfamiliar language. Then he 
leaned closer. 

"Phobat Rau has spoken to you 
of my birth and life here?" 

Baker nodded, and then, realiz- 
ing that Kazu could not see such 
a microscopic movement, he replied 

"He has told us your story in de- 
tail. It is a marvel which we can 
yet scarcely believe. But the greatest 
marvel of all is that you speak our 
language, and comprehend so 

Kazu thought of this for a mo- 

"Yes, my teachers have done 
well, I think. I have studied the 
writings of many great men, but 
there is yet much that I do not un- 
derstand. I think it is important 
that I understand, because I am so 
strong. I do not wish to use this 
strength for evil, and I am not sure 
that those whom my teachers serve 
are good. I have studied the words 
of the great Buddha, but now my 
teachers say that I am to appear as 
if I were Buddha. But that is an un- 
truth, and untruth is evil. So now I 
hope that you will tell me the 

whole truth." 

Kazu stepped back a quarter of 
a mile, and then reappeared, drag- 
ging his four hundred foot chair. 
Sitting on this, he crouched for- 
ward until his face was hardly a 
hundred feet before us, and his 
warm humid breath swept over us 
like wind from some exotic jungle. 
Baker took a moment to marshal 
his thoughts, and then came for- 
ward, threw out his chest and be- 
gan speaking as though addressing 
an outdoor political meeting. 

How long Baker spoke I do not 
know. He began by outlining his- 
tory, contrasting the ideals of 
Buddha and other great religious 
leaders with the dark record of hu- 
man oppression and cruelty. Kazu's 
vast face proved most expressive of 
his feelings as he listened intently. 
When Baker came to the subject of 
communism, he leaned over so far 
backward in his effort to be fair 
that I feared that he was overdoing 
it, and would convince the giant in 
the wrong direction. 

WHEN Baker as only part- 
way through his lecture, he 
remarked that some point in geog- 
raphy could be better explained by 
a drawing, but that obviously he 
could not make one large enough 
for Kazu to see. At this the giant 
laughed and pointed to his big 

"Come," he said, "you shall draw 
on a piece of glass and the light will 
make it great that I may see." 

We were thereupon transferred 
the mile distance to the building by 
a reversal of our previous route: 



up the ramp to Kazu's ample palm, 
a series of breathtaking swoops 
through space, and we were in the 
vast interior of the leanto. 

The furnishings of this study 
room consisted of a chair, a sloping 
writing desk and a screen fully two 
hundred feet square on the wall 
opposite the chair. Beside the chair 
was a sort of bracket on the wall 
which supported the projection 
room. Kazu placed his hand level 
with an elevated balcony leading to 
this and we scrambled off. With 
Baker in the lead, we opened the 
door and entered the projection 
room. It was larger than we had es- 
timated from outside, when we had 
the immense furniture for compari- 
son. The dimensions were perhaps 
forty feet on the side, and most of 
the interior was taken up by shelves 
on which were stored thousands of 
films of book pages, maps, photo- 
graphs and diagrams of all kinds. 
In the side facing the screen were 
a number of ports and a battery of 
movie and still projectors. One of 
the latter was, we saw, adapted for 
writing or drawing on the glass 
slide while it was being projected. 
We studied this for a moment, lo- 
cated the special marking pencil, 
and then I called out of the door 
that we were ready. 

"Look also," repHed Kazu, "you 
will find device which magnify 
voice. My teachers use this always." 

A further search disclosed a 
microphone and the switch for a 
public address amplifier. Baker 
Mtik-d down to his now illustrated 
li-i ture. 

After he had talked himself 
hoarse, Baker asked each of the 

rest of us to speak briefly on our 
own specialties. I was the last, and 
I was practically through when I 
became aware that we were not 
alone in the room. I gave Martin a 
nudge, and turned from the micro- 
phone to face eight of the uni- 
formed guards, led by our friendly 
yellow-robed priest. Only now he 
wasn't friendly, and he carried a 
heavy automatic which was care- 
fully aimed right at us. 

"Very clever, gentlemen," he 
said. "You took good advantage of 
your chance with our simple giant, 
did you not? Tried your best to 
ruin the whole work of Pan-Asia 
just to save your miserable skins. 
Well, you shall not — " 

He was interrupted by the thun- 
der of Kazu's voice. 

"Please continue, Mr. Cady. I 
find it most interesting. Why do you 

I took a step toward the micro- 
phone, but a menacing gesture with 
the gun stopped me. I looked from 
yellow-robe to Baker. After a mo- 
ment's hesitation, the latter spoke. 

"I'm afraid, my friend, that you 
have misjudged the situation. I 
admit that we jumped into 
Buddha's hand to escape from Pho- 
bat Rau, but if you are familiar 
with the expression, our leap was 
from the frying pan into the fire. 
Your giant is holding us prisoner, 
and even now forces us to tell him 
things on pain of death." 

The priest looked astonished, and 
the gun barrel dropped slightly. 

"No one," continued Baker in a 
sincere tone, "could have been 
more welcome than you. But" — ^his 
voice dropped and he took a step 



toward the other — "we must be 
careful. If he should even suspect 
that you are here to rescue us, he 
would crush this room like an egg!" 

The priest, now thoroughly 
alarmed, glanced about nervously, 
his automatic pointing at the floor. 
The guards, who knew no English, 
looked at each other in surprise. 

Baker took quick advantage of 
the confusion. 

"We must not allow him to be- 
come suspicious. I will continue 
talking over the microphone while 
your guards take my friends to 

With this he stepped to the 
microphone and projector. The 
priest seemed for an instant about 
to stop him, and then he turned to 
the guards and gave a series of 
rapid orders. They advanced and 
surrounded Martin, Walt and me, 
and indicated by gesture that we 
were to go with them to the walk- 
way which led to the wall of the 
great room. In panic I looked at 
Baker, but he was bent over the 
glass plate of the projector, drawing 
something and speaking in his 
precise clipped voice. 

"I shall now show you a map of 
the United States and indicate the 
principal cities. First, on the Atlan- 
tic coast we have New York . . ." 

We were out of the room and on 
the gallery. For a moment I 
thought that Kazu might see us, 
and then I realized that the whole 
place was dark and that he was 
concentrating on Baker's silly map. 
Briefly I wondered what Baker was 
up to anyway, but this sudden ter- 
rible turn of events made any kind 
of calm reasoning very difficult. 

Outside the projection room. 
Baker's voice came booming over 
the loudspeakers 

"Chicago is located at the 
southern end of Lake Michigan, 
just west of Detroit, while St. 
Louis — " 

SUDDENLY the room lights 
came on, and the whole struc- 
ture of the bridge shook as from an 
earthquake. The guards ahead 
abruptly turned and scrambled 
back, knocking us over in their 
haste. I grabbed the handrail for 
support, and then became aware of 
a vast blurry shape looming above 
and of a hand as large as a build- 
ing that reached down toward the 
guards, now halfway back to the 
projection room. In a sort of 
hypnotic horror I watched the 
thumb and forefinger snap them 
and a thirty foot section of railing 
off into space. Then, very gently the 
hand plucked the roof from the 
projection room, exposing Baker 
and the» priest. Yellow-robe 
dropped his gun and ran towards 
a corner, but Baker neatly tripped 
him and then stepped back for 
Kazu to finish the job. 

A moment later Baker came out 
onto the bridge. Martin tried to 
frame a question. 

"What— how did he— ?"_ 

Baker grinned and pointed si- 
lently at the screen. We looked and 
understood. Where a map of the 
United States should have been was 
a scrawled message in English: 
"Priests here taking us captive." 

We returned to our lecturing, but 
after what had happened neither 



we nor Kazu felt much like concen- ■ 
trating on geographical or other 
general facts. We all knew that Rau 
had not given up. For the moment 
we were protected by Kazu's im- 
mense power, but there were some 
doubts in our minds as to how long 
this might last. After all, Rau was 
his Ufelong mentor and protector. 
For the moment the young giant 
seemed to have taken a liking to us, 
but perhaps it was only a passing 
whim. Presently Rau would assert 
his authority and Kazu, his curiosity 
satisfied, would hand us over— 
in exchange, perhaps, for supper. 

After about fifteen minutes more 
of lecturing, Kazu interrupted. 

"Soon will be sunset. Suggest we 
return to privacy of high table to 
discuss next move." 

The transfer took less than a 
minute. The afternoon, we saw, 
was indeed far gone. None of us 
had realized how long we had been 
in the projection room. Once we 
were safely back on the table, Kazu 
addressed us, using his softest voice, 
which was a hurricane-like whis- 

"Phobat Rau plans for me to go 
soon to head armies of Asia in fight 
against west. My study of history 
has raised doubts of rightness of 
such war, and what you say 
strengthen these. Now I must see 
for myself, without guidance or in- 
terference from Rau. But I need 
assistance, to direct me how I shall 
go. I believe you will be fair. Will 
you help me?" 

For a moment the incongruity of 
that last question prevented ovir 
gr;l^|)ing the full implication of 
Kazu's statement. Then Baker, evi- 

dently realizing that this was no 
time for philosophic quibbling, 
signified our assent. Kazu pro- 
ceeded at once to practical plans. 

"Tonight I sleep in usual place, 
where you disturbed me with small 
rock slide. But you must stay awake 
by turns to guard against capture. 
In morning you direct my steps 
away from Yat to mainland of 
Asia, where — " 

He stopped. Seeing the direction 
he was looking, we hastened to the 
edge of the table. Far below, on the 
ground, was a railroad train sur- 
rounded by a small crowd of priests. 
For a moment we were puzzled, 
and then we saw that the train was 
made up entirely of gondola cars 
such as are used to carry coal and 
other bulk cargo. But these cars, a 
dozen in number, contained a white 
substance which steamed. We did 
not require more than one guess. 
The train brought Kazu's supper. 

The giant made a slight bow of 
thanks to the delegation at his feet, 
and proceeded carefully to empty 
the cars into his dish. Then, instead 
of squatting at his low eating table, 
he brought the dish and other 
utensils up to our level and dumped 
a ton or so of steaming rice at our 
feet. Evidently he wished us to 
share his supper. We had no tools 
other than our hands, but since we 
had not eaten in almost twenty- 
four hours, we did not stop for the 
conventions. Scooping up double 
handfuUs of the unseasoned stuff, 
we fell to even before Kazu had 
gotten his ponderous spoon into 
piosition. Suddenly, Baker yelled at 

"Hold it!" He turned to Kazu 



who had a spoonful poised halfway 
to his mouth. "Kazu, don't eat. 
This rice is doped!" 

I took a mouthful of the rice. 
There was not much flavor- — only a 
little salt which I guessed came 
from seawater. I explored the stuff 
with my tongue, and presently no- 
ticed a familiar taste. It took me a 
moment to place it. Yes, that was it. 
Barbiturate. The stuff in sleeping 

Kazu bent his great face over us. 
Baker briefly explained. Kazu ap- 
peared at first puzzled. He dropped 
the spoon into the dish and pushed 
it away from him. His brow 
wrinkled, and he glanced down at 
the ground. Walking to the edge, 
we saw that the group of priests 
were standing quietly around the 
engine, as though waiting for some- 
thing. What they were waiting for 
evidently struck Kazu and us at the 
same time. Kazu leaned toward 
them and spoke in Japanese. His 
voice was angry. Baker tried to 

"He says, 'how dare you poison 
Buddha'— Look, they're running 

The next second things happened 
too rapidly for translation or even 
immediate interpretation. Kazu 
spoke again, his voice rising to an 
earth shaking roar at the end. The 
little men below were scattering in 
all directions, and the train started 
to back off down its track. Suddenly 
Kazu turned and picked up his 
hundred foot steel dish. He swept it 
across the table and then down in 
a long curving arc. There was an 
earth shaking thud and where the 
rtmning figures and the train had 

been was now only the upturned 
bottom of the immense dish. Priests 
and cars alike were entombed in a 
thousand tons of hot rice! 

Kazu now turned to us. "Gome," 
he said, "Yat is not safe, even for 
Buddha. Now we must leave here 
at once." 

He extended his hand towards 
us, and then, with another thought, 
turned and strode to the leanto. In 
a moment he returned carrying 
the projection room, with a tail of 
structural steel and electric cables 
hanging below. This he placed on 
the table and indicated that we 
were to enter. As soon as we were 
inside, Kazu clapped on the roof 
and picked up the stout steel box. 
We clung to the frame supporting 
the projectors, while a mass of 
slides, film cans and other debris 
battered us with every swooping 
motion. We could not see what was 
going on outside, but the giant 
seemed to be picking up a number 
of things from the ground and from 
inside the leanto. Then he com- 
menced a regular stride across the 
crater floor. Now at last we got to 
a window, just in time to glimpse 
the nearby cliff. On the rim, some 
hundreds of feet above I saw a 
group of uniformed men clustered 
about some device. Then we were 
closer and I saw that it was an anti- 
aircraft gun, which they were trying 
to direct at us. I think Kazu must 
have seen it at the same moment, 
for abruptly he scrambled up the 
steep hillside and pulverized gun, 
crew and the whole crater rim with 
one tremendous blow of his fist. 

I got a brief aerial view of the 
whole island as Kazu balanced mo- 



mentarily on the rim, and then we 
were all thrown to the floor as he 
stumbled and slid down the hill- 
side to the level country outside of 
the crater. 

WT P UNTIL this moment we had 
wJ been engaged in an essentially 
personal enterprise, even though its 
object was to secure information 
vital to the United Nations. From 
this time on, however, the personal 
element was to become almost com- 
pletely subordinate to the vast 
problems of humanity itself, for, 
as we were to soon find, we had 
tied ourselves to a symbol that was 
determined to live up to all that was 
claimed or expected of him, and 
further, who depended upon our 
advice. The situation for us was 
made much worse because at first 
we doubted both his sincerity and 
good sense — in fact, it was not until 
after the Wagnerian climax of the 
whole thing that we at last realized, 
along with the rest of the world, 
exactly what Kazu Takahashi be- 
lieved in. 

Kazu crossed the flat eastern half 
of Yat in less than a minute, evi- 
dently wishing to get out of range 
of Rau's artillery as quickly as pos- 
sible. His feet tore through the 
groves as a normal man's might 
5irough a field of clover; indeed, he 
experienced more trouble from the 
softness of the ground than from 
any vegetation. As we were soon to 
learn, one of the disadvantages of 
Kazu's size lay in the mechanical 
properties of the world as experi- 
enced by him. Kazu stood almost 

600 feet high, or roughly 100 times 
the Unear dimensions of a normal 
man. From the simple laws of geom- 
etry, this increased his weight by 
100* or 1 million times. But the area 
of his body, including the soles of 
his feet which had to support this 
gigantic load, had increased by but 
100^, or ten thousand times. The 
ground pressure under his feet was 
thus 100 times greater, for each 
square inch, than for a normal 
man. The result was that Kazu sank 
into the ground at each step until 
he reached bedrock, or soil strong 
enough to carry the load. 

At the beach he hesitated briefly, 
as though getting his bearings, and 
then waded into the ocean. The 
surf which had used us so violently 
was to him only a half inch ripple. 
He strode through the shallows and 
past the reef in a matter of seconds, 
and then plunged into deeper 
water. From our dizzy perch, now 
carried at hip height, we watched 
the great feet drive down into the 
sea, leaving green walls of solid 
water about them. 

Although we did not realize it at 
the time, we later learned that 
Kazu's wading forays were at- 
tended by tidal waves which inun- 
dated islands up to a hundred miles 
away. This trip across a twenty mile 
strait swamped a dozen native fish- 
ing craft, flooded out four villages 
and killed some hundreds of people. 

We fared better than some of 
these innocent bystanders, for Kazu 
carefully held our steel box above 
the sea, and presently lurched 
through shallow water to the dry 

The new island was larger than 



Yat, and entirely given over to rice 
growing for Kazu's food supply. He 
threaded his way easily among the 
paddies, up through some low hills, 
and then down a narrow gorge into 
the sea again. 

Ahead lay a much more extensive 
body of water. The sun was now 
hardly fifteen degrees above the 
horizon, and its glare plus a bank of 
clouds made it difficult to see the 
distant land. Kazu raised our room 
to the level of his face. 

"Is that Island of Celebes?" 

Baker started to pick up the 
microphone, and then abruptly 
realizing that it was dead, he 
shouted back from the projection 

"I think it is. Let me look for a 

Kazu waited patiently while we 
searched, placing the room on a 
hilltop to give us a steadier plat- 
form. We all began a mad scramble 
in the mass of debris. Kazu re- 
moved the roof to give more light, 
but it soon became clear that there 
wasn't much hope. All that we 
could find were thousands of slides 
of the Chinese classics. At last we 
gave up. When we told Kazu this, 
he locked across the water and 
wrinkled his brow. We could sense 
the reason for his anxiety, for the 
distant shore could hardly be less 
than seventy miles away. Mentally 
I reduced this to terms I could un- 
derstand. Seven tenths of a mile, of 
which an unknown percentage 
might be swimming. 

Kazu's voice rumbled down to 
us, "I would prefer to wade. I can- 
not swim well." He peered down 
into our roofless box anxiously. 

"If we only had one chart," be- 
gan Baker, when Walt, who had 
been rummaging near the projector 
window, called to us. 

"Take a look over there, just 
around the point." 

We saw the prow of a ship. There 
was a moment of terror lest it be an 
Indonesian coast patrol, and then 
we saw that it was just a small 
island steamer of a thousand tons 
or so, chugging along less than two 
miles offshore. 

I THINK that the idea hit us all 
at the same instant. Baker, as 
spokesman, called to Kazu. The 
giant, for the first time, grinned at 
us. Then he picked up our box and 
waded into the ocean. 

I don't think the people in the 
little ship even saw us until we were 
practically upon them, because of 
the mist and sunset glare. What 
they thought I can only imagine, 
for the water was little more than 
knee deep and Kazu towered fully 
four hundred feet above it. Then a 
hand as big as the foredeck reached 
down and gently stopped them by 
the simple expedient of forming a 
V between thumb and fingers into 
which the prow pushed. I heard 
the sound of bells and saw tiny 
figures scurrying about on the deck. 
On the opposite side a number of 
white specks appeared in the water 
as crewmen dove overboard. Our 
box was now lowered until its door 
was next to the bridge. We leaped 
aboard, under cover of a great hand 
which obligingly plucked away the 
near wall of the pilot house. We 
entered the house just as the cap- 



tain beat a precipitate retreat out 
the other side, and after a moment 
in the chartroom we found what we 
wanted. While Martin stood watch 
at the far door, we took advantage 
of the electric lights to examine the 
chart of the east coast of Celebes. 
That island, we found, was only 
sixty miles away and the deepest 
sounding was less than six hundred 
feet. Kazu could wade the whole 

THE nautical charts did not 
show much detail for the in- 
terior of Celebes, but from our ele- 
vation we could see enough of the 
terrain to guide Kazu quite well. 
The course which Baker plotted 
took us across the northern part of 
the big island, and far enough in- 
land to avoid easy detection from 
the sea. As the day progressed, the 
sky gradually filled with clouds, 
promising more rain, so that I 
doubt if many people saw us. Those 
who did, I suspect, were more in- 
terested in taking cover than in in- 
terfering with Kazu's progress. 

The journey across Celebes took 
only a couple of hours, and so, by 
noon, we stood on the shore of the 
strait of Macassar, looking across 
seventy-five miles of blue water to 
the mountains of Borneo. 

It was not until now that Baker 
explained what he had in mind in 
choosing this particular route. 

"We're going to Singapore," he 
s:iid. "Get under the protection of 
ilie Royal Navy and Air Force 
before the commies spot us and 
i,\rt dropping bombs and rockets. 
11 Buddha wants to see the world, 

he'd better start by getting a good 

Kazu seemed agreeable when ap- 
praised of this plan, and so we be- 
gan to plot a more detailed route 
over the 1,100 miles between us and 
the British crown colony. We stood 
at the narrowest part of the strait, 
but unfortunately most of it was 
too deep for Kazu to wade. 
Reference to the charts showed that 
by going 250 miles south, we would 
reduce the swim to about 30 miles, 
or the equivalent of some 500 yards 
for a normal man. To this was 
added a wade of 120 miles through 
shallows and over the many small 
Balabalagan Islands. 

Suddenly Kazu's hand swept 
down and came up with a 60-foot 
whale, which he devoured in great 
gory bites. After this midocean 
lunch, Kazu resumed his wading. 
In the middle of the strait the 
depth exceeded five thousand feet, 
and he had to swim for a time, after 
fastening our box to his head by 
means of the trailing cables. 

At length the sea became shallow 
once more, Kazu's feet crunched 
through coral, and the coast of 
Borneo appeared dimly ahead. We 
were all taking time for the luxury 
of a sigh of relief when Chamberlin 
screamed a warning. 

"Planes! Coming in low at three 

Fortunately Kazu heard this also, 
although the language confused 
him. Precious seconds were wasted 
while he held the box up to his face 
for more explicit directions. The 
planes, a flight of six, were streaking 
towards Us just above the wavetops, 
We could see that they carried tor- 



pedoes, and it was not difficult to 
guess their intentions. 

"Go sideways!" Baker yelled, but 
Kazu did not move. He simply 
stood facing the oncoming aircraft, 
our box held in his left hand at 
head level, and his right arm hang- 
ing at his side, half submerged. 
Either Kazu was too frightened to 
move, or he did not understand the 
danger. The planes were hardly a 
half mile away now, evidently hold- 
ing their fire until the last moment 
to insure a hit. What even one tor- 
pedo could do I didn't dare to 
contemplate, and here were twelve 
possible strikes. After all, Kazu was 
made of flesh, and after having seen 
the effect of TNT on the steel side 
of a ship, I had Uttle doubt as to 
what would happen to him. 

Now the last seconds were at 
hand. The planes were closing at 
five hundred yards, the torpedoes 
would drop in a second . . . But 
suddenly Kazu moved. His whole 
body swung abruptly to the left and 
at the same time the right hand 
came up through the water. We, of 
course, were pitched headlong, but 
we did briefly glimpse a tremendous 
fan of solid green water rising up 
to meet the planes. They tried to 
dodge but it was too late. Into the 
waterspout they flew, all six with 
their torpedoes still attached, and 
down into the ocean they fell, 
broken and sinking. It was all over 
in a moment. We were so amazed it 
was moments before we could 

Kazu turned and resumed his 
stroll toward Borneo without a sin- 
gle backward glance at the havoc 
wrought by his splash. 

AS WE entered the foothills 
. I became conscious for the 
first time of a curious change. It 
was a psychological change in me, 
a change in my sense of scale. We 
had been carried so long at Kazu's 
shoulder level, and had grown so 
accustomed to looking out along his 
arms from almost the same view- 
point as his, that we were now esti- 
mating the size of the mountains 
as though we were as large as Kazul 
It is difficult to express just how I 
felt, and now that it is all over, the 
memory has become so tenuous and 
subtle that I fear I will never be 
able to explain it so that anyone 
but my three companions could un- 
derstand. But this was the first mo- 
ment that I noticed the effect. The 
mountains were suddenly no long- 
er 4,000 foot peaks viewed from 
a plane 500 feet above ground level, 
but were forty foot mounds with a 
six inch cover of mossy brush, and 
I was walking up their sides a;s a 
normal human being! The change 
was, as nearly as I can express it, 
from the viewpoint of a normal hu- 
man being under extraordinary cir- 
cumstances to that of an ordinary 
man visiting a miniature world. 
The whale to me was now a fat 
jellyfish seven inches long, the 
Chinese warplanes were toys with 
an eight inch wingspread, the little 
steamer of yesterday was a flimsy 
toy built of cardboard and tinfoil. 
We had, in effect, identified our- 
selves completely with Kazu. 

And so we climbed dripping from 
the Straits of Macassar, and entered 
the mists and jungles of Borneo. 

Our course toward Singapore 
carried us across the full width of 



southern Borneo, a distance, from a 
point north of Kotabaroe to Cape 
Datu, of almost six hundred miles. 

After about an hour, the blue 
outlines of the Schwanner Moun- 
tains appeared ahead and presently 
we passed quite close to Mt. Raya, 
which at 7,500 feet was the greatest 
mountain Kazu had ever seen. 
Then, dropping into another valley, 
we followed the course of the 
Kapuas River for a time, and final- 
ly turned west again through an 
area of plantations. Here Kazu 
made an effort to secure food by 
plucking and eating fruit and tree- 
tops together. The result was un- 
satisfactory, but presently we came 
upon a granary containing thou- 
sands of sacks of rice. The work- 
men, warned by our earthquake ap- 
proach, fled long before we reached 
it Kazu carefully removed the cor- 
rugated iron roof and ate the whole 
contents of the warehouse, which 
amounted to about a handful. The 
sacks appeared about a quarter of 
an inch in length, and seemed to 
be filled with a fine white powder. 

Following this meal, Kazu 
drained a small lake, getting inci- 
dentally a goodly catch of carp, al- 
though he could not even taste 
them. Then, since it was now late in 
the afternoon, he turned northwest 
to the hills to spend the night. 

The last part of the journey was 
almost entirely through shallow 
water — three hundred miles of the 
warm South China Sea. Baker 
I'Umncd to make a before dawn 
i.irt, so that we might be close to 
ilic Peninsula before day- 
1 ' ' iHild ONpose us to further at- 
i.ii k K.azu suggested pushing on at 

once, but Baker did not think it 
wise to approach the formidable 
defenses of Singapore by night. 
And so for a second time we sought 
out an isolated valley where Kazu 
could snuggle between two soft 
hills, and we could get what sleep 
was possible in the wreckage of the 
projection room. 

The China Sea passage was made 
without incident. We started at 
three A.M. in a downpour of rain, 
and by six, at dawn, the low outUne 
of the Malay Peninsula came into 
sight. We made our landfall some 
forty miles north of Singapore, and 
at once cut across country toward 
Johore Bahru and the great British 
crown colony. 

The rice paddies, roads and other 
signs of civilization were a welcome 
sight, and I was already relaxing, 
mentally, in a hot tub at the officers 
club when the awakening came. It 
came in the form of a squadron of 
fighter planes carrying British 
markings which roared out of the 
south without warning and passed 
Kazu's head with all their guns fir- 
ing. Fortunately neither his eyes nor 
our thin shelled box was hit, but 
Kazu felt the tiny projectiles which 
penetrated even his twelve inch 
hide. As the planes wheeled for an- 
other pass he called out in English 
that he was a friend, but of course 
the pilots could not hear above the 
roar of their jets. On the second try 
two of the planes released rockets, 
which fortunately missed, but this 
put a different light on the whole 
thing. A direct hit with a ten inch 
rocket would be as dangerous as 
a torpedo. Baker tried to yell some 
advice, but there was no chance 



before the planes came in again. 
This time Kazu waved, and finally 
threw a handful of earth and trees 
at them. The whole squadron 
zoomed upwards like a covey of 
startled birds. 

By the time we had reached a 
temporary haven, Kazu was thor- 
oughly winded, and we were bat- 
tered nearly insensible. Baker, in 
fact, was out cold. Kazu slowed 
down, and then finding no direc- 
tions or advice forthcoming, he 
resumed a steady dogtrot to the 
north. Martin and I tried to draw 
Baker to a safer position beside the 
projector, but in the process one of 
the steel shelves collapsed, adding 
Martin to the casualty list. Walt 
and I then attempted to drag the 
two of them to safety, but in the 
midst of these efforts a particularly 
hard lurch sent me headfirst into 
the projector, and my interest in 
proceedings thereuffon became ml. 
Walt, battered and seasick, gave up 
and collapsed with the rest of us. 
Further efforts at communication 
by Kazu proved fruitless. Buddha 
was on his own. 


I AWOKE with a throbbing 
headache to find the steel room 
motionless, and warm sunshine 
streaming into my face. Looking 
around, I saw that my three com- 
panions were all up and apparently 
in good shape. Baker was the first 
to notice that I was awake, and he 
came over immediately. 

"Feel better?" he inquired cheer- 

He helped me up and I staggered 

to the window. The room was 
perched, as usual, on a hilltop, but 
the vegetation around was not 
tropical jungle. I turned to the 
others, noting as I did that the 
room was cleaned up. 

"Where — " I started, with a 
gesture outside. Baker stopped me 
and led me to an improvised can- 
vas hammock. 

"You really got a nasty one," he 
said. "You've been out two days." 

"Two days!" I tried to rise, but 
the effort so increased the headache 
that I gave up and collapsed into 
the hammock. 

"Just he quiet and I'll bring you 
up to date." Baker drew up an 
empty film box for a seat. "I was 
knocked about a bit myself, you 
know, and by the time I came 
around, our friend had trotted the 
whole length of the Malay Penin- 
sula and was halfway across 

"But the people at Singapore," 
I began, "Don't those fools know 

"Things have changed," said 
Baker. "The biggest change has 
been in Buddha's mind. He took 
our advice and almost got killed 
for his pains. Now he's on his own." 

I tried to look through the open 
door. Baker shook his head. 

"He's not here. No — " this in 
answer to my startled look, "just off 
for a stroll, towards China this time, 
I think. Yesterday he visited Lhasa. 
Said it's quite a place. Talked to the 
Lamas in Tibetan, and they un- 
derstood him. He calls it playing 

Baker got up and searched 
among the maps, finally finding one 



of southeast Asia. He spread it out 
before me, and placed a finger 
rather vaguely on the great Yunnan 
Plateau between Burma and China. 

"We're here, somewhere. Buddha 
doesn't know exactly, himself. He 
made it to Lhasa by following the 
Himalayas, and watching for the 
Potala. I hope he'll find his way 
back this time — be a bit awkwSrd 
for us if he doesn't." 

He stepped outside and brought 
in some cold cooked rice and meat. 

"Kazu brought us a handful of 
cows yesterday. They were prac- 
tically mashed into hamburger. I 
guess you'd call this pounded 

I ate some of the meat and settled 
back to rest again. Presently I dozed 

When I awakened it was dark 
and Kazu was back. Martin had 
started a big campfire outside, evi- 
dently with Kazu's aid, for it was 
stoked with several logs fully eight 
feet in diameter and was sending 
flames fifty feet into the sky. Kazu 
himself was squatting directly over 
it, staring down at us. When I came 
to the door, he spoke. 

"Ah, little brother Bill. I am so 
sorry that you were hurt. I am 
afraid I forgot to be gentle, and 
that is not forgiveable in Buddha." 

I made an appropriate reply, and 
then waited. Evidently he had as 
yet told nothing of his day's expedi- 
tion. Finally he plucked a roasted 
bullock from the fire and popped it 
into his mouth like a nut. 

"Today," he said, "I visit Chung- 
king, Nanking, Peking. I think 
I see hundred million Chinese. I 
know more than that see me. Also I 

talk to them. They understand, for 
miles. They expected me. As you 
say, brother Llewelyn, Rau has ex- 
cellent propaganda machine. 
Everywhere tfiey hail me as Bud- 
dha, come to save them from war 
and disease and western imperial- 
ism. I speak to them as Buddha; 
today, I am Buddha." 

Baker glanced at us meaningfully 
and murmured, "I was afraid of 
this." But Kazu continued. 

"Today all of China believes I am 
Buddha. Only you and I know this 
is not so, but we can fight best if 
they believe." 

"Have you eaten?" inquired 
Martin. Kazu nodded. 

"At every temple they collect rice 
for Buddha. Many small meals 
make full belly. But," his face 
wrinkled with concern, "many 
thousands could live on what I eat 
today. China is so poor. So many 
people, so little food. I must find 
ways to help them." He paused, 
and then resumed in a firmer tone. 

"But not in communist way. Rau 
was right about western imperial- 
ists, but he named wrong country. 
Russian imperialists have enslaved 
China. First we must drive com- 
munists from China. Then I can 

"Amen," said Baker softly. Then, 
to Kazu . . . 

"We've been trying to do just 
that for years. But how can you 
fight seven hundred million peo- 

"Don't fight— lead them." 

It sounded so simple, the way 
he said it. Well, maybe he could. 
But now Baker had more practical 



"What does the rest of the world 
think about all this? Have you 
talked to any Europeans, or heard 
a radio?" 

Kazu shook his head. "But I 
caught communist General. He tell 
me Russia sending army to capture 
me. He say only hope is for me to 
surrender, or Russian drop atom 
bomb on me. Then I eat him." 

We must have showed our 
startled reaction, for Kazu laughed. 

"Not much nourishment in com- 
munist. I eat him for propaganda 
— ^many people see me do it. Effect 
very good." He paused. "Not tasty, 
but symbolic meal. China is like 
Buddha, giant who can eat up ene- 

"What are you going to do 
next?" asked Baker. 

"That is question. I need more 
information. Where is leadership in 
China I can trust? What will Rus- 
sians do? How long for British and 
Americans to wake up?" 

"You're not the only one asking 
these questions," said Baker. "But 
maybe you can get some answers." 

EFORE Kazu could continue, 
Chamberlin held up his 
hand for silence. We listened, and 
presently heard above the crackle of 
the great bonfire, the throb of an 
airplane engine. Kazu heard it too, 
for he suddenly arose and stepped 
back out of the light. We four also 
' hastened into the shadows and 
peered ii?to the dark sky. The ap- 
proaching aircraft displayed no 
lights, but presently we saw it in 
the firelight — a multi-jet bomber 
bearing American markings. We 

rushed back into die illuminated 
area and danced up and down, 
waving our arms. The huge plane 
swung in a wide circle and came in 
less than five hundred feet above 
the hilltop. I could make out faces 
peering down at us from the glassed 
greenhouse in front. As it roared 
past, one wing tipped slightly in the 
updraft from the fire, and then 
suddenly the plane stopped dead in 
its tracks. The jets roared a deeper 
note as they bit into still air, and 
then very slowly and gently the 
great ship moved back and down 
until it rested on its belly beside our 
steel box. Not until it was quite 
safe on the ground did Kazu's 
hands release their hold on the 
wings, where he had caught it in 

The eleven crew men from the 
B125 came out with their hands in 
the air, but their expressions were 
more incredulous than frightened. 
Baker added to the unreality of the 
situation by his greeting, done in 
the best "Dr. Livingstone-I-pre- 
sume" manner. 

"Welcome to Camp Yunnan. 
Sorry we had to be so abrupt. I'm 
Baker, these are Chamberlin, 
Martin, Cady." 

"I'm Faulkner," replied the lead- 
er of the Americans automatically, 
and then he abruptly sat down and 
was violently sick. We waited pa- 
tiently until he could speak again, 

"My God, I didn't believe it 
when we heard." He was talking 
to no-one in particular. "One min- 
ute we're flying at 450 miles per 
hour, the next we're picked out of 
the air like a — like a — " 

He gave up. Kazu came into the 



firelight and squatted down, quite 
slowly. Baker introduced him. 

"Colonel, I'd like you to meet 
Kazu Takahashi." The American 
arose and extended his hand, and 
then dropped it abruptly to his side. 
Kazu emitted a thunderous 

"Handshake is, I fear, formality 
I must always pass up, even at risk 
of impoliteness." 

I think that the language, and 
particularly the phrasing, jolted the 
airmen even more than the actual 
capture. Colonel Faulkner kept 
shaking his head and murmuring 
"My God!" for several moments, 
and then pulled himself together. 
"So the story's really true after all," 
he finally said. "We got it on the 
radio day before yesterday at 
Manila. It was so garbled at first 
that nobody could make any sense. 
Ships reported thousand foot men 
wading in the ocean. New Macassar 
radio reported that Buddha was re- 
incarnated, and then denied the 
story. Announcements of a pitched 
battle at Singapore, and frantic re- 
ports from every town on the pen- 
insula. Then a statement by some 
Lama on Macassar that the British 
had kidnaped Buddha, had him 
hypnotized or doped, and were us- 
ing him to exterminate China." 

He paused and looked up at 
Kazu, who had bent down until 
his face was only a hundred feet 
above us. 

"Part of it is true," said Baker. 
"Tlirie was a giant wading in the 
ociMii. As to the rest, I fear we have 
cauKlu the red radio without a 
M lipt. I'll tell you the story present- 
ly, but just now there are more ur- 

gent things to do. Is your radio 


Faulkner nodded and led us to- 
wards the plane. Baker continued. 

"Briefly, Kazu is a mutation pro- 
duced by the Hiroshima bomb. He's 
been groomed for twenty years to 
take over as the world's largest pup- 
pet, but it turns out he has a mind 
of his own. We just happened 
along, and are going on for the 
ride. Want to join the party?" 

The Colonel grinned for the first 
time as we all squeezed into the 
radio compartment of the plane. 

"I like travel," he said. "It's so 

The radio was not only operative, 
but proved most informative as 
well. Every transmitter on earth, 
it seemed, was talking about the 
giant. In the course of an hour we 
listened to a dozen major stations 
and got as many versions of the 
story. The communist propaganda 
factory had obviously been caught 
flat footed, for their broadcasts 
were a hopeless mixture of releases 
evidently prepared for the planned 
introduction of Buddha to the 
world, and hastily assembled dia- 
tribes against the capitalist im- 
perialists who had so foully cap- 
tured him. Some of the Russians ap- 
parently were not in on the secret of 
Buddha's dimensions, for they 
described in detail how a raiding 
party of eighty American com- 
mando-gangsters had landed by 
parachute on Yat, seized Buddha, 
and taken him away in a seaplane. 

Before we went to sleep that 
night, Kazu extinguished the fire 
so that no one else would be at- 
tracted as the Colonel had been. 



TI^EXT morning the first ques- 
1.^ tion concerned transporta- 
tion. Colonel Faulkner naturally 
did not want to leave his plane, 
particularly since it was undam- 
aged, but a takeoff from our nar- 
row mountain ledge was obviously 
impossible, so he regretfully ordered 
his crew to unload their personal 
effects for transfer to our box. At 
this point Kazu stepped in. 

"If you will enter your airplane 
and start jets," he said, "Buddha 
will serve as launching mecha- 

Before the takeoff, the Colonel 
transferred his spare radio gear to 
our box, along with an auxiliary 
generator, and we agreed on a 
schedule to keep in touch. Then 
Kazu gently picked up the bomber, 
raised it high above his head and 
sent it gliding off to the north. The 
engines coughed a couple of times 
and then caught with a roar. Colo- 
nel Faulkner wagged his wings and 
vanished into the haze. 

Our plan was to follow the 
plane east to the Wu River, and 
then north to its meeting with the 
Yangtze, which occurs some sev- 
enty five miles below Chungking. 
While the B125 cruised around us 
in a great circle, we loaded our be- 
longings into the box, and Kazu 
picked us up and signalled the 
plane that we were ready. Colonel 
Faulkner's intention had been to 
circle us rather than leave us be- 
hind with his superior speed, but 
in a moment it became clear that 
this would not be necessary. Kazu 
set off down the canyon at a pace 
better than three hundred miles per 
hour, and the Colonel had to gun 

his motors to keep up. 

We passed only a few small 
towns on the Wu. Kazu had been 
here before, and had evidently 
stopped to talk and make friends, 
for we observed none of the fright 
which had formerly greeted his ad- 
vent. Instead, crowds ran out to 
meet us, waving the forbidden Na- 
tionalist flag and shooting off fire- 
crackers. Kazu spoke briefly in 
Cantonese to each group, and then 
hurried on. Baker explained that 
he was giving them formal bless- 
ings, in the name of Buddha. 

An hour's time brought us to 
Fowchow, on the mighty Yangtze 
Kiang. Here Kazu turned left, 
wading in the stream, and nego- 
tiated the seventy odd miles to 
Chungking in fifteen minutes. 

The distance from Chungking to 
Hankow is somewhat more than 
five hundred miles. For much of 
this distance the Yangtze is 
bounded by mountains and rocky 
gorges, but in the final 150 miles, 
the hills drop away and the river 
winds slowly through China's lake 
country. Kazu made good time in 
the gorge, but his feet sank a hun- 
dred feet into the soft alluvial soil 
of the lowlands and he had con- 
stantly to watch out for villages 
and farms. 

Buddha had not visited Han- 
kow before, but he was expected. 
Even before the city came into 
view, the roads were lined with peo- 
ple and the canals and lakes 
jammed with sampans. Just out- 
side of the city we noticed a small 
group of men in military uniform 
under a white flag. We guessed 
that they represented the commu- 



nist city government, and so did 
Kazu, for he set our box beside the 
group and ordered the spokesman 
to come in for a parlay. The un- 
fortunate officer who was picked 
obviously did not relish the idea, 
particularly after Martin cracked 
in English, "He doesn't look fat 
enough." Giving Martin a glare, he 
drew himself up stifHy and said, 
"General Soo prepared to die, if 
necessary for people of China." 

The communist General showed 
somewhat less bravado after the 
stomach turning ascent to the six 
hundred foot level, but he man- 
aged to get off a speech in answer 
to Kazu's question. As before, 
Baker gave us a running transla- 

"He says welcome to Hankow. 
The people's government, ever re- 
sponsive to the will of the citizens, 
joins with all faithful Buddhists in 
welcoming Buddha, and in ex- 
pressing heartfelt thanksgiving that 
rumors claiming Buddha to be a 
puppet of western imperialists are 
all false. Now he's saying that there 
is to be a big party — a banquet — 
for Buddha, in the central square. 
Rice has been collected and cooked, 
and a thousand sheep slaughtered 
to feed hungry Buddha." 

Kazu replied formally that while 
he appreciated the hospitality of 
the people of Hankow, he could 
not accept food from the enemies 
of C'hina. These words, which were 
clr.Lily audible to the entire city, 
vs M (greeted with cheers by the 
tl hclow. The General took 

till in. 1 1 II Might about it a moment, 
aiul ill! II iii.ulc a neat about face. 

"ijLiicral Soo," said he stoutly, 

"was communist when he believed 
communism only hope for China. 
You have changed everything. 
General Soo now faithful Bud- 

"May I," said Baker with a grin, 
"be the first to congratulate Gen- 
eral Soo on his perspicacity." 

AS THE General had prom- 
ised, there was a great ban- 
quet spread. In spite of Soo's pro- 
testations. Baker insisted on sam- 
pling each course rather exten- 
sively for sleeping potions or poi- 
son, but either the idea had not oc- 
curred to the communists, or there 
hadn't been enough time, or poison 

For the most part the civil gov- 
ernment of Hankow joined with 
General Soo in a loudly declared 
conversion to Buddhism without 
communist trappings. In spite of 
Baker's skepticism, I believed that 
most of them were quite sincere. At 
least, they sincerely wanted to be on 
the side with the most power, and 
for the time being at least, Kazu 
seemed an easy winner. General 
Soo, in particular, insisted on mak- 
ing a long speech in which he de- 
clared the Russians to be the true 
"western imperialists", now un- 
masked, who since the days of the 
first Stalin had sought to enslave 
China with lies and trickery. Baker 
shook his head over this, and pri- 
vately opined that Soo was a very 
poor fence straddler: such remarks 
went beyond the needs of expedi- 
ency, and would probably com- 
pletely alienate him from the 
Kremlin. However, the crowd 



thought it was all fine. 

Kazu replied with a short, and 
generally well planned statement of 
his policy. 

"Those who follow me," he con- 
cluded, "have no easy path. They 
must be strong, to throw off the 
yoke of those who would enslave 
them, but they must be merciful to 
their enemies in defeat, even to 
those who but a moment before 
were at their throats. For though 
we win the war, if we at the same 
time forget what we have fought 
for, then we have indeed lost all. I 
proclaim to all China, and to her 
enemies both within and without 
our borders, that the faith of Bud- 
dha has returned, and that inter- 
ference in China's affairs by any 
other nation will not be tolerated." 

Colonel Faulkner had landed at 
the Hankow airport and now, 
with his crew, shared our private 
banquet on the terrace of the city's 
largest hotel, only a few hundred 
feet from where Kazu squatted. 
Under cover of the cheering and 
speechmaking, he relayed to us 
some news which he had heard on 
the radio, which was not quite so 

It seemed, first, that the Chinese 
III Army, under General Wu, had 
declared itself for Buddha, and 
was engaged in a pitched battle 
with the Manchurian First Army 
north of Tientsin. The communist 
garrison at Shanghai, where there 
was a large population of Russian 
"colonists", had holed in, awaiting 
attack by a Buddhist Peoples Army 
assembled from revolting elements 
of the II and VII Corps at Nan- 
king. A revolt at Canton, far to 

the south, had been put down by 
the commxmists with the aid of air 
support coming directly from Rus- 
sia. The most ominous note, how- 
ever, was a veiled threat by old 
Mao himself that if mutinous ele- 
ments did not submit, he might call 
upon his great ally to the east to 
use the atomic bomb. Mao spoke 
apparently from near Peking, 
where he was assembling the I and 
V Armies. 

We digested this news while 
Kazu finished the last of his 1000 
sheep. We all cast anxious glances 
into the sky. Soviet planes at Can- 
ton meant that they could be here 
also, and Buddha, sqjiatting in a 
glare of light in the midst of Han- 
kow, was a sitting duck for a bomb- 
ing attack. 

As soon as the main part of the 
formalities were over. Baker man- 
aged to get Kazu's attention, and 
informed him of the situation. 
Kazu's reaction was immediate 
and to the point. 

"We do not await attack. We go 
north to free our brothers, and to 
instruct our errant General Mao in 
Buddha's truth." 

By the time we were packed and 
in our travelling box, the time was 
eight-thirty. Reference to our map 
showed the airline distance from 
Hankow to Peking to be about 
630 miles, and Buddha, greatly re- 
freshed by the food and rest, prom- ' 
ised to reach the capital by eleven. 

To make walking easier. Baker 
plotted a route which avoided the 
lowlands, particularly the valley of 
the Yellow River, in favor of a 
slightly longer course through the 
mountains to the east. We started 



northwest, splashing through the 
swamps and lakes around Han- 
kow at first, and presently reached 
firmer ground in the Hawiyang 
Shan. We followed the ridge of 
these mountains for a time, and 
then dropped to the hilly country 
of Honan Province. At first the 
night was very dark, but presently 
the light of a waning moon made 
an occasional fix possible, although 
navigation was confusing and un- 
certain at best. 

We splashed across the Yellow 
River at ten o'clock, somewhere 
east of Kaifeng, and for a time were 
greatly slowed by what appeared 
to be thick gumbo. 

Our speed improved once we got 
up into the rugged Taihang Moun- 
tains. Here also we felt safer from 
air observation or attack, although 
Kazu was soon panting from the 
exertion of crossing an endless suc- 
cession of fifteen to thirty foot 
ridges. This was indeed rough 
country, terrain which had pro- 
tected the lush plains of China for 
centuries against the Mongols. 
Here the great wall had been built, 
and presently, in the moonlight, we 
saw its trace, winding serpentlike 
over the mountains. 

We followed the Wall for almost 
two hundred miles — all the way, in 
fact, to the latitude of Peking — be- 
fore we swung east again for the 
final lap to Mao's capital. 

DURING the last hour we 
trailed an antenna and lis- 
tened in on the world of radio. 
The news was not good. The 
Shanghai garrison had sprung a 

trap on their disorganized attack- 
ers, and were marching on Nan- 
king. Mao's armies were closing the 
southern half of a great pincers on 
Wu's troops, and only awaited the 
dawn to launch the final assault. 
Worst of all, there had been re- 
ports of increasing Soviet air ac- 
tivity over the area; a major air 
strike also apparently would come 
with daylight. 

We were scarcely halfway from 
the edge of the city to the moated 
summer palace when a small hell 
of gunfire broke out around Kazu's 
feet. He jumped, with a roar of 
pain, and then lashed out with one 
foot, sweeping away a whole city 
block and demolishing the ambush. 
Limping slightly, he made the re- 
maining distance by a less direct 
route and at last stood at the moat 
before the palace. The ancient 
building, and, indeed, everything 
about, was quite dark. Kazu peered 
about uncertainly, and then raised 
our box to ask for advice. Baker 
was pessimistic. 

"I don't think you'll find General 
Mao here. But at this stage of 
things, I don't believe it would mat- 
ter if you did. The decision will be 
made tomorrow by the armies." 

Kazu stepped carefully over the 
moat and wall, and sat down 
wearily in the gardens of the sum- 
mer palace. We peered with in- 
terest at the foliage, marble bridges 
and the graceful buildings, illmni- 
nated only by ghostly moonlight. 
With Kazu squatting among them, 
they looked like models, a toy vil- 
lage out of ancient China. I wished 
that a picture might be taken, for 
surely never before had Buddha 



been in so appropriate a setting. 

While Kazu rested, we examined 
his feet. A number of machine gun 
bullets had entered his foot thick 
hide, and there was one wound a 
yard long from which oozed a sticky 
gelatinous blood. There did not 
appear to be any serious damage, 
although the chances of infection 
worried us. In any event, there was 
nothing we could do except douse 
it with buckets of water from the 
moat. Kazu thanked us formally, 
as befitted a deity, and added, as 
though talking to himself, 

"Now is the most difficult time. 
How can I bring peace without 
the use of violence? I can appear 
before these armies and command 
them to stop. But what if they do 
not obey? Should I use force? Oh, 
that I were really the Great Lord 
Buddha^ — then I would have the 
wisdom, the knowledge that is a 
thousand times more potent than 
giant size. Oh Buddha, grant me 
wisdom, if only for a moment, that 
I may act rightly." 

Presently the giant stretched out 
full length in the garden and, while 
we kept guard, slept for a time. 

The first pale glow of dawn ap- 
peared soon after five, and we were 
preparing to awaken Kazu when 
Martin held up a warning hand. 
We listened. At first we heard noth- 
ing, and then there came a deep 
drone of jets. Not a single plane, 
not even a squadron. Nothing less 
than a great fleet of heavy aircraft 
was approaching Peking from the 
west. Baker fired his automatic re- 
peatedly near Kazu's ear, and pres- 
ently his rumbly breathing changed 
and he opened his eyes. 

"Planes," said Baker briefly. "It's 
not safe here. Better get moving." 

Kazu sat up, yawning, and we 
climbed into the box. The giant 
took a long draught from the near- 
est fishpond and tied our cage to 
his neck and shoulder so that both 
of his hands would be free. 

By this time the noise of the 
planes had increased to a roar, 
which echoed through the silent 
city. Kazu arose to his full height 
and waited. A pinkish line of light 
had now appeared along the eastern 
horizon which, I realized with con- 
sternation, must silhouette the 
mighty tower of Kazu's body to 
whomever was coming out of the 
western shadows. 

m ND THEN we saw them. A 
fCm great fleet of heavy bombers, 
flying high, far beyond even Kazu's 
reach. Baker seized the glasses to 
look, and then gave a cry of warn- 
ing. The leading plane had 
dropped something — a black 
spherical object above which blos- 
somed a parachute. I think that 
Kazu realized what it was as soon 
as we, but he still stood quietly. 
Baker lost whatever calm he had 
left and screamed, "Run, run — 
it's the H-bomb 1" but still Kazu 
did not move. In a moment another 
of the deadly spheres appeared, di- 
rectly over us, and then a third. 
Now at last Kazu moved, but not 
toward safety. He walked slowly 
until he was directly beneath the 
first bomb, and reached up, until 
his hand was a thousand feet in the 
air. Down came the bomb, quite 
rapidly, for the parachute was not 



very large. 

"What's the matter with the 
fool," yelled Martin. But now Bak- 
er seemed to get Kazu's idea. 

"It has barometric fusing' — ^it's 
set to detonate at a certain altitude. 
If that's below a thousand feet, and 
Kazu can catch it, it won't go off!" 

Martin started something about 
detonation at two thousand feet, 
when Kazu gave a slight jump and 
his hand closed about the deadly 
thing, as though he had caught a 
fly. We cowered, expecting the flash 
that would mean the end, but noth- 
ing happened. In Kazu's crushing 
grip the firing mechanism was re- 
duced to wreckage before it could 
act. When Buddha opened his 
palm, it contained only a wad of 
crumpled metal inside of which 
was a now harmless sphere of plu- 

In quick succession Kazu re- 
peated this performance with the 
other two bombs, wadded the 
whole together and flung it to 
the ground. Then he turned to the 

By the time we had cleared the 
city, it was quite light, and we could 
sec a dark pall of smoke in the 
northeast. The armies which had 
been poised last night had finally 
met, and a great battle was under- 
way. Kazu hurried towards it, and 
presently we could hear the crackle 
of small arms fire and the heavier 
explosions of mortars and rockets. 
It took a moment or so for Kazu to 
vrt liis hearings. Evidently we were 
.i|)piii.iiliing Mao's legions from 
the rear. Still keeping from the 
Kiiid , to avoid killing anyone, Kazu 
udv.uictd to near the battle line, 

and there stopped. 

"My brothers," his voice thun- 
dered above the heaviest cannon, 
"my poor brothers on both sides, 
listen to me. Stop this killing. Stop 
this useless slaughter. No one can 
win, and all will — " 

Suddenly there was a blinding 
flash of light, a thousand times 
brighter than the newly appeared 
sun. It came from behind us, and 
in the terrible instant that it re- 
mained we could see Buddha's 
enormous shadow stretching out 
across the battlefield. Kazu stopped 
speaking and braced his shoulders 
for the blast. Subconsciously I was 
counting seconds. Four, five, six, 
seven — A sudden, insane hope 
gripped me. If we were far enough 
from the burst — and then the blast 
hit us, and with it, the sound. Kazu 
pitched forward a hundred yards, 
and stumbled on as far again. Then 
he recovered. One hand reached be- 
hind him, to the back that had 
taken the full brunt of heat and 
gamma radiation, and a half ani- 
mal cry escaped from his lips. Over 
his shoulder we got a glimpse of 
the fireball, of the fovmtain of color 
which would presently form the 
terrible mushroom cloud. The 
thunder of the explosion reverber- 
ated, and was replaced by silence. 
The crackle of rifles, the thud_of 
field pieces had ceased. From our 
perch we looked down at a scene 
straight from Dante's Inferno. 
About Kazu's feet was a shallow 
ravine in which a thousand or so 
communist troops had taken cover. 
These were now scrambling and 
clawing at the sides like ants trying 
to get away. Vehicles were aban- 



doned, rifles thrown away. A few 
had been burned, but it seemed 
that for the most part the soldiers 
had been shehered from direct 
radiation by the wall of their can- 
yon, and by Kazu's great shadow. 

For an eternity, it seemed, Kazu 
stood there, swaying slightly, one 
hand still pressed against his back, 
while the little men writhed about 
his ankles. Then, quite slowly, he 
raised one foot. I thought that he 
was going to walk away, but in- 
stead, the foot moved deliberately 
until it was directly over the ravine, 
and then, like a tremendous pile 
driver, it descended. A faint and 
hideous screaming came up to us, 
which abruptly ended. The foot 
came up, and again descended, 
turning back and forth in the yield- 
ing earth. Slowly Kazu brought his 
hand up, and Ufted our box so that 
he could look at us. As he did so, I 
saw that half of his hand was the 
color of charcoal, and I smelled a 
horrible odor of tons of burnt flesh. 
Now at last he spoke, in a voice 
that we could scarcely understand. 

"Guide me," he said, "Guide me, 
Baker. Guide me to Moscow!" 


KAZU walked quite slowly 
from the battlefield. His gait 
was unsteady, and at first we feared 
that he would collapse. We could 
not tell how deep the bums were, 
nor whether he was internally hurt 
by the blast. He appeared to be suf- 
fering from some kind of shock, for 
he did not speak again for a long 
time. But gradually he seemed to 
gather himself together, and we be- 

came almost convinced that the 
shock was more psychological than 
physical, and that even the atom 
bomb was powerless against his 

We did not remain to see the out- 
come of the battle, but presently 
Martin turned the radio on. The 
news at first was fragmentary. 
Word that a Russian plane had 
atom bombed the new Buddha 
spread across China, and with it 
ended the last shreds of communist 
prestige. The armies which had 
been pro-communist turned on 
their officers. Mao himself was 
murdered on the battlefield before 
Kazu was out of sight. The former 
red defenders of Shanghai mas- 
sacred twenty thousand hapless 
Russian emigrants. All across Asia 
the story was the same, a terrible 
revulsion. At first it was behaved 
that Buddha had died instantly; 
later rumor had it that he had 
crawled ofT to Mongolia to die. 

Radio Moscow at first was silent. 
The horror of what had been done 
was too much even for that well 
oiled propaganda machine. At last 
a line was patched together: the 
bomb had been dropped by an 
American plane, bearing Russian 
markings. Then Radio Peking an- 
nounced that Chinese fighters had 
shot it down and that the crew was 
Russian. To this Moscow could 
think of only one reply: Radio 
Peking was lying; the station had 
been taken over by the Americans! 
A little later another Moscow 
broadcast announced solemnly that 
the whole story was wrong — Bud- 
dha hadn't been there at all! 

All the time that this confused 



flood of talk was circling the globe, 
Kazu Takahashi, still clinging to 
the battered steel projection room, 
was striding across Siberia, stagger- 

' ing now and then, but still main- 
taining a pace of better than three 

' hundred miles per hour. 

At first he simply walked west- 
ward without any directions from 
us. By ten o'clock he had put a 
thousand miles between him and 
the coast and was well across the 
southern Gobi desert. Now Baker, 
who had been almost as stunned 
as Kazu, began to look into his 
maps. He had nothing for central 
Asia as detailed as the charts we 
had used in Borneo and Celebes, 
but he presently found a small scale 
map that would do. With this he 
identified the snowy range of 
mountains now towering on our 
left as the Nan Shan, northernmost 
bastion of Tibet. He hurriedly 
called to Kazu to turn northwest 
before he entered the great Tarim 
Basin, for the western side of that 
vast desert was closed by a range 
of mountains 20,000 feet high. 
Even with the new course, our alti- 
tude would be above six thousand 
feet for many miles. 

At noon we were paralleling an- 
other mighty range, the little 
known Altai Mountains, and at one 
o'clock we passed the Zaisan Nor, 
the great lake which forms the 
headwaters for the Irtysh River. 
Here Kazu paused for a drink, and 
to rime his bums with fresh water. 
Then we were away again, this time 
due west over more mountain tops, 
avdiditijj the inhabited lowlands. At 
tluii -iliirty the hills dropped away 
and tli( re appeared ahead the in- 

finite green carpet of the Siberian 
forest. Kazu stopped again at an- 
other lake, which Baker guessed 
might be Dengiz. At four-thirty we 
crossed a wide river which we could 
not identify, and then at last com- 
menced to climb into the foothills 
of the southern Urals. Just in time 
Baker discovered that Kazu's 
course was taking him straight to- 
ward the industrial city of Mag- 
netogorsk. We veered north again 
into the higher mountains and then 
turned east to the forests. 

We were sure now that Kazu 
must be delirious, but after a while 
he stopped at the edge of a lake. 

"How far are we from Moscow?" 
he asked. 

"Twelve hundred miles, more or 
less," said Baker. "You can make it 
by nine, maybe ten, tonight." 

Kazu shook his head. 

"No. Tonight I must rest, gather 
strength. We start two AM, arrive 
Kremlin at sunrise. We catch them 
same time they catch me. No warn- 
ing whatever." 

Kazu lay down on the swampy 
lake bottom while we huddled on 
the floor of the box, courting sleep 
which never came. 

At one o'clock we at last gave it 
up, and Baker fired his pistol until 
Kazu stirred. While he was awak- 
ening we listened to the radio. 
Things had calmed down quite a 
bit, and as we pieced the various 
broadcasts together, an amazing re- 
alization came over us. Everyone 
believed that Kazu was dead! Evi- 
dently no word of our trip across 
all of central Asia had been re- 
ceived! Search planes, both Soviet 
and Chinese, were combing the 



eastern Gobi for the body. 

OTHER news included a war 
declaration by China upon 
the Soviet Union, and the an- 
nouncement that the Russian Po- 
litbureau had scheduled a meeting 
in the Kremlin to consider the 

We passed all of this on to Kazu, 
whose grim face relaxed for the 
first time in a fleeting grin. 

"Good reporters. Know what are 
most savory items. Now guide me 
well, and away from towns until 
we reach it." 

The trip across the Urals and the 
plains of European Russia retains a 
nightmare quality in my mind, 
comparable only with that first 
night on Yat. Even Baker, who 
plotted the course, can remember 
it little better. Now and again we 
caught glimpses of the dim lights 
in farms, and once we saw the old 
moon reflected in the Volga. Much 
of the low country was covered 
with ground fog, which reached to 
Kazu's waist; this, combined with 
the blackout which had been or- 
dered in every town, made observa- 
tion by us or the Russians either 
way difficult. A few people saw 
Kazu, and their reports reflect a 
surrealist madness; those who had 
the horrifying experience of sud- 
denly meeting Buddha in the early 
morning mists were universally in- 
capable of making any coherent re- 
port to the authorities. 

And then, just as the ghostly 
false dawn turned the night into a 
misty gray, we saw ahead the tow- 
ers of Moscow. Now Kazu in- 

creased his speed. Concealment 
was no longer possible ; he must 
reach the Kremlin ahead of the 

At 500 miles per hour Buddha 
descended upon Moscow. His 
plunging feet reduced block after 
block of stores and apartment 
houses to dust, and the sky behind 
us was lighted more brightly by 
the fires he started than by the dull 
red of the still unrisen sun. Now at 
last I heard the tardy wail of a siren 
and saw armored cars darting 
through the streets. On the roof of 
an apartment house I glimpsed a 
crew trying to unlimber an antiair- 
craft gun, but Kazu saw it also, and 
smashed the building to rubble with 
a passing kick. 

And then we were at the Red 
Square. St. Basils at one end, the 
fifty foot stone walls of the Kremlin 
along one side and Lenin's Tomb 
like a pile of red children's blocks. 
Kazu stood for a moment survey- 
ing this famous scene, his feet sunk 
to the ankle in a collapsed subway. 
It was my first view of the Red 
Square, and somehow I knew that 
it would be the last, for anyone. 
Then Kazu slowly walked to the 
Kremlin and looked down into it. 
I remember how suddenly absurd 
it all seemed. The Kremlin walls, 
the very symbol of the iron curtain, 
were scarcely six inches high ! The 
whole thing was only a child's play- 

But now Kazu had found what 
he wanted. Without bothering to 
lift his feet, he crushed through the 
walls, reached down and pulled the 
roof from one of the buildings. He 
uncovered a brighdy lighted ant- 



hill. Like a doUhouse exposed, he 
revealed rooms and corridors along 
which men were running. Kazu 
dropped to his knees and held our 
box up so that we might also see. 

"Are these the men?" he asked. 
Baker replied in the negative. 

Kazu abruptly pressed his hand 
into the building, crushing ma- 
sonry and timbers and humans all 
into a heap of dust, and turned to 
a larger building. As he did, some- 
thing about it seemed familiar to 
me. Yes, I had seen it before, in 
newsreels. It was — 

But again Kazu's fingers were at 
work. Lifting at the eaves, he care- 
fully took off the whole roof. 
Through a window we saw figures 
hurrying toward a covered bridge 
connecting this building with an- 
other. At Baker's warning, Kazu 
demolished the bridge, and then 
gently began picking the structure 
to pieces. In a moment we saw what 
we were after. A wall was pulled 
down, exposing a great room with 
oil paintings of Lenin and Stalin on 
the wall and a long conference table 
in the center. And clustered be- 
tween the table and the far wall 
were a score of men. Anyone would 
have recognized them, for their 
faces had gone round the world in 
po.sters, magazines and newsreels. 
They were the men of the Polit- 
burcau. They were Red Russia's 

1 licrc was an instant of silent 
mutual recognition, and then Kazu 
spnkr to them. As befitting a god, 
hi |H)kc in their own tongue. Ex- 
u ily \s)i;it he said I do not know, 
but ;i)iii a little hesitation they 
came aiound the table to the pre- 

carious edge of the room where the 
outer wall had been. Kazu gave 
further directions and held up our 
steel box. Fearfully they came for- 
ward and jumped the gap into our 
door. One by one they made the 
leap, some dressed in the bemed- 
alled uniforms of marshals, others 
in the semi-military tunics affected 
by civilian ministers. The last was 
the man who had succeeded Stalin 
on his death, and who had taken 
for himself the same name, as 
though it were a title. 

As he entered our room, we saw 
that he even looked like the first 
Stalin, clipped hair, moustache and 
all. He was a brilliant man, we 
knew. Brilliant and ruthless. He 
had grown up through the purges-, 
in a world which knew no mercy, 
where only the fittest, by commu- 
nist standards, survived. He had 
survived, becatise he was merciless 
and efficient and because he hated 
the free west with a hatred that 
was deadly and implacable. 

I OFTEN wonder what his 
thoughts were at that moment. 
He came because he was ordered 
to and because he knew the alter- 
native. He knew he was to die, but 
he obeyed because by so doing he 
could prolong life a little, and be- 
cause there was always a chance. 

At that moment I deeply re- 
gretted knowing no Russian. The 
twenty one who came in talked 
among themselves in short sen- 
tences. They saw us, but ignored 
us. Baker spoke, first in EngUsh and 
then in German. The one called 
Stalin understood the German, for 



he looked at Baker searchingly for 
a moment, and then turned away. 
Only one of them replied. This was 
Malik, the man who wrecked the 
old United Nations and then be- 
came Foreign Minister after Vish- 
insky was murdered. He ignored 
the German and spat out his reply 
in English. 

"You will not live to gloat over 
us. He will kiU you too, all of you!" 

We can never be sure of what 
Kazu planned, because now — and 
of this I am certain — his plans 
changed. There was suddenly a 
stillness. We waited. Then I ran to 
the window and looked upward 
into the great face. 

It had changed. A deep weari- 
ness and a bewilderment was upon 
it — as though Kazu had suddenly 
sickened of destruction and slaugh- 
ter. His whispering was the roar- 
ing of winds as he said, "No — no. 
This is not the way — not Buddha's 
way. They must talk. They must 
understand each other. They must 
sit at tables and settle their differ- 
ences, that is my mission." 

Kazu took five steps. Below us 
was an airfield. 

"Can you fly?" he asked us. 
Chamberlin had been an army pilot 
in the fifties. Kazu pushed the box 
up to a transport, an American 

"Go in this," he said quite clear- 
ly. "Go in this plane until you are 
in Washington. Tell America about 
me. Tell America I am coming — 
that I am bringing — them. Tell 
America there must be — peace." 

We scrambled out of the steel 
box, leaving the Russians in a mis- 
erable heap in one comer. 

He arose to his full height and 
carefully adjusted the cables 
around his neck. I noticed that his 
fingers fumbled awkwardly, and 
that he staggered slightly. Then he 
spoke once more. 

"I cannot cross Atlantic. Only 
route for Buddha is Siberia, Ber- 
ing Straight, Alaska. But this not 
take long. You better hurry or I 
get to Washington first!" 

He turned on his heel and 
walked a few steps to the end of the 

"Now get in plane. I give httle 
help in takeoff!" 

We climbed into the familiar in- 
terior of the big American trans- 
port. A moment later it arose si- 
lently, vertically like an elevator. 
Chamberlin, in the pilot's seat, hur- 
riedly started the engines. He 
leaned from a window and waved 
his arm, and we shot forward and 
upward. For a moment the plane 
wavered and dipped, taking all of 
Walt's ability to recover. Then with 
a powerful roar, the big DCS 
zoomed over the flames of Moscow 
toward the west. 

THE FLIGHT to London and 
the Atlantic crossing seemed 
unreal. We lived beside the radio. 
War and revolt against the Soviets 
had broken out everywhere. With 
the directing power in the Kremlin 
gone, the top-heavy Soviet bureauc- 
racy was paralyzed. The YugosJavs 
marched into the Ukraine, Chinese 
armies occupied Irkutsk and were 
pressing across Siberia. Internal 
revolution broke out at a hundred 
points once it was learned that 



Moscow was no more. 

Eagerly we listened to every re- 
port for word of Kazu. At first there 
was nothing, and then a Chinese 
plane reported seeing him crossing 
the Ob River, near the Arctic Cir- 
cle. They said that he carried a box 
in his hand and appeared to be 
talking to it. Then news from the 
tiny river settlement of Zhigansk on 
the Lena that he had passed, but 
that he limped and staggered as he 
climbed the mountains beyond. 

After that, silence. 

Planes swarmed over eastern Si- 
beria, the Arctic Coast and Alaska, 
but found nothing. Five hundred 
tons of C ration were rushed to 
Fairbanks, and tons of medical sup- 
plies for burns and possible illness 
were readied, but no patient ap- 
peared. At first we were hopeful, 
knowing Kazu's powers. Perhaps he 
had lost his way, without Baker and 
the maps, but surely he could not 
vanish. As the days passed Baker 
became more worried. 

"It's the radiation," he ex- 
plained. "He took the full dose of 
gamma rays right in his back. He 
might go on for days, and then sud- 
denly keel over. He's had a bad 
burn outside, but it's nothing to 
what it did to him internally." 

So the days passed, and so grad- 
ually hope died. And then, at last, 
tlicre was news. It came, belatedly, 
Iroin an eskimo hunter on the Pri- 
l)i)lof Islands, in Bering Sea. He 
11 |)ortcd that a great sea god had 
( nmr out of the waters, so tall that 
liii head vanished into the clouds. 

But, he was a sick god, for he could 
hardly stand, and soon crawled on 
his hands. Around his neck, said 
the eskimo, he carried a charm, 
and he spoke words to this in a 
strange tongue. And the charm an- 
swered him in the same tongue, 
and with the voice of a man. And 
the two spoke to each other for a 
time and then the great one arose 
and walked off of the island and 
into the fog and the ocean. 

Questioned, the man was some- 
what vague as to the exact direc- 
tion taken, although it seemed clear 
that Kazu had headed south. 
When Baker examined his chart of 
Bering Sea, he found that the 
ocean to the north and west, to- 
wards Siberia, was shallow — less 
than five hundred feet. But the Pri- 
bolofs stood on the edge of a great 
deep. Only twenty miles south of 
the islands, the ocean floor dropped 
off to more than ten thousand feet, 
for three hundred miles of icy fog 
shrouded ocean, before the bleak 
Aleutians arose out of the mists. 
This desolate area was searched for 
months by ships and planes, but no 
trace ever appeared from the 
treacherous currents of the stormy 
sea. Kazu had vanished. 

So here ended the story of Kazu 
Takahashi, who was born in the 
days of the first bomb, and who 
died by the last ever to sear the 
world. He was believed by millions 
to be the incarnation of the Lord 
Buddha, but to four men he was 
known not as a god but as a great 
and good man. 


The dawning of intelligence is sometimes 
the greatest tragedy of all. 


By Richard Matheson 

HE STEPPED into the sunlight 
and walked among the people. 
His feet carried him away from the 
black tube depths. The distant roar 
of underground machinery left his 
brain to be replaced by myriad 
whispers of the city. 

Now he was walking the main 
street. Men of flesh and men of 
steel passed him by, coming and go- 
ing. His legs moved slowly and his 
footsteps were lost in a thousand 

He passed a building that had 
died in the last war. There were 
scurrying men 2ind robots pulling 
off the rubble to build again. Over 
their heads hung the control ship 
and he saw men looking down to 
see that work was done properly. 

He slipped in and out among the 
crowd. No fear of being seen. Only 
inside of him was there a dififer- 
ence. Eyes would never know it. 
Visio-poles set at every corner could 
not glean the change. In form and 
visage he was just like all the rest. 

He looked at the sky. He was the 
only one. The others didn't know 
about the sky. It was only when you 
broke away that you could see. He 
saw a rocket ship flashing across the 
sun and control ships hovering in 
a sky rich with blue and fluflfy 

The dull-eyed people glanced at 
him suspiciously and hurried on. 
The blank-faced robots made no 
sign. They clanked on past, holding 
their envelopes and their packages 




in long metal arms. 

He lowered his eyes and kept 
walking. A man cannot look at the 
sky, he thought. It is suspect to look 
at the sky. 

"Would you help a buddy?" 

He paused and his eyes flicked 
down to the card on the man's 

Ex-Space Pilot. Blind. Legalized 

Signed by the stamp of the Con- 
trol Commissioner. He put his hand 
on the blind man's shoulder. The 
man did not speak but passed by 
and moved on, his cane clacking on 
the sidewalk until he had disap- 
peared. It was not allowed to beg 
in this district. They would find 
him soon. 

He turned from watching and 
strode on. The visio-poles had seen 
him pause and touch the blind 
man. It was not permitted to pause 
on business streets; to touch an- 

He passed a metal news dispens- 
er and, brushing by, pulled out a 
sheet. He continued on and held it 
up before his eyes. 

Income Taxes Raised. Military 
Draft Raised. Prices Raised. 

Those were the story heads. He 
turned it over. On the back was an 
editorial that told why Earth forces 
had been compelled to destroy all 
the Martians. 

Something clicked in his mind 
and his fingers closed slowly into a 
ii^ht fist. 

Ill' passed his people, men and 
robots buth. What distinction now? 
he asked himself. The common 
ci.i r s did the same work as the 
robots. Together they walked or 

drove through the streets carrying 
and delivering. 

To be a man, he thought. No 
longer is it a blessing, a pride, a 
gift. To be brother to the machine, 
used and broken by invisible men 
who kept their eyes on poles and 
their fists bunched in ships that 
hung over all their heads, waiting 
to strike at opposition. 

When it came to you one day 
that this was so, you saw there was 
no reason to go on with it. 

HE STOPPED in the shade and 
his eyes blinked. He looked in 
the shop window. There were tiny 
baby creatures in a cage. 

Buy a Venus Baby For Your 
Child, said the card. 

He looked into the eyes of the 
small tentacled things and saw there 
intelligence and pleading misery. 
And he passed on, ashamed of what 
one people can do to another peo- 

Something stirred within his 
body. He lurched a little and 
pressed his hand against his head. 
His shoulders twitched. When a 
man is sick, he thought, he cannot 
work. And when a man cannot 
work, he is not wanted. 

He stepped into the street and a 
huge Control truck grounrd to a 
stop inches before him. 

He walked away jerkily, leaped 
upon the sidewalk. Someone shout- 
ed and he ran. Now the photo-cells 
would follow him. He tried to lose 
himself in the moving crowds. Peo- 
ple whirled by, an endless blur of 
faces and bodies. 

They would be searching now. 



When a man stepped in front of a 
vehicle he was suspect. To wish 
death was not allowed. He had to 
escape before they caught him and 
took him to the Adjustment Cen- 
ter. He couldn't bear that. 

People and robots rushed past 
him, messengers, delivery boys, the 
bottom level of an era. All going 
somewhere. In all these scurrying 
thousands, only he had no place to 
go, no bimdle to deliver, no slavish 
duty to perform. He was adrift. 

Street after street, block on 
block. He felt his body weaving. He 
was going to collapse soon, he felt. 
He was weak. He wanted to stop. 
But he couldn't stop. Not now. If 
he paused — sat down to rest — they 
would come for him and take him 
to the Adjustment Center. He 
didn't want to be adjusted. He 
didn't want to be made once more 
into a stupid shuffling machine. It 
was better to be in anguish and to 

He stumbled on. Bleating horns 
tore at his brain. Neon eyes blinked 
down at him as he walked. 

He tried to walk straight but his 
system was giving way. Were they 
following? He would have to be 
careful. He kept his face blank and 
he walked as steadily as he could. 

His knee-joint stiffened and, as 
he bent to rub it in his hands, a 
wave of darkness leaped from the 
ground and clawed at him. He 
staggered against a plate glass win- 

He shook his head and saw a 
man staring from inside. He pushed 
away. The man came out and 
stared at him in fear. The photo- 
cells picked him up and followed 

him. He had to hurry. He couldn't 
be brought back to start all over 
again. He'd rather be dead. 

A sudden idea. Cold water. Only 
to drink? 

I'm going to die, he thought. But 
I will know why I am dying and 
that will be different. I have left 
the laboratory where, daily, I was 
sated with calculations for bombs 
and gases and bacterial sprays. 

All through those long days and 
nights of plotting destruction, the 
truth was growing in my brain. 
Connections were weakening, in- 
doctrinations faltering as effort 
fought with apathy. 

And, finally, something gave, and 
all that was left was weariness and 
truth and a great desire to be at 

And now he had escaped and he 
would never go back. His brain had 
snapped forever and they would 
never adjust him again. 

He came to the citizen's park, 
last outpost for the old, the crip- 
pled, the useless. Where they could 
hide away and rest and wait for 

He entered through the wide 
gate and looked at the high walls 
which stretched beyond eye. The 
walls that hid the ugliness from out- 
side eyes. It was safe here. They did 
not care if a man died inside the 
citizen's park. 

Tliis is my island, he thought. I 
have found a silent place. There 
are no probing photo-cells here and 
no ears listening. A person can be 
free here. 

His legs felt suddenly weak and 
he leaned against a blackened dead 
tree and sank down into the mouldy 


leaves lying deep on the ground. 

An old man came by and stared 
at him suspiciously. The old man 
walked on. He could not stop to 
talk for minds were still the same 
even when the shackles had been 

Two old ladies passed him by. 
They looked at him and whispered 
to one another. He was not an old 
person. He was not allowed in the 
citizen's park. The Control Police 
might follow him. There was dan- 
ger and they hurried on, casting 
frightened glances over their lean 
shoulders. When he came near they 
scurried over the hill. 

He walked. Far off he heard a 
siren. The high, screeching siren of 
the Control Police cars. Were they 
after him? Did they know he was 
there? He hurried on, his body 
twitching as he loped up a sun- 
baked hill and down the other side. 
The lake, he thought, I am looking 
for the lake. 

He saw a fountain and stepped 
down the slope and stood by it. 
There was an old man bent over it. 
It was the man who had passed 
him. The old man's lips enveloped 
the thin stream of water. 

He stood there quietly, shaking. 
The old man did not know he was 
there. He drank and drank. The 
water dashed and sparkled in the 
sun. His hands reached out for the 
old man. The old man felt his touch 
and jerked away, water running 
across his gray bearded chin. He 
backed away, staring open- 
mouthed. He turned quickly and 
hobbled away. 

He saw the old man run. Then 
he bent over the fountain. The 


water gurgled into his mouth. It 
ran down and up into his mouth 
and poured out again, tastelessly. 

denly, a sick burning in his 
chest. The sun faded to his eye, the 
sky became black. He stumbled 
about on the pavement, his moutih 
opening and closing. He tripped 
over the edge of the walk and fell 
to his knees on the dry ground. 

He crawled in on the dead grass 
and fell on his back, his stomach 
grinding, water running over his 

He lay there with the sun shining 
on his face and he looked at it with- 
out blinking. Then he raised his 
hands and put them over his eyes. 

An ant crawled across his wrist. 
He looked at it stupidly. Then he 
put the ant between two fingers 
and squashed it to a pulp. 

He sat up. He couldn't stay 
where he was. Already they might 
be searching the park, their cold 
eyes scanning the hills, moving like 
a horrible tide through this last out- 
post where old people were allowed 
to think if they were able to. 

He got up and staggered around 
clumsily and started up the path, 
stiff-legged, looking for the lake. 

He turned a bend and walked in 
a weaving line. He heard whistles. 
He heard a distant shout. They 
were looking for him. Even here in 
the citizen's park where he thought 
he could escape. And find the lake 
in peace. 

He passed an old shut down mer- 
ry-go-round. He saw the little 
wooden horses in gay poses, gallop- 



ing high and motionless, caught 
fast in time. Green and orange with 
heavy tassels, all thick-coverod with 

He reached a sunken walk and 
started down it. There were gray 
stone walls on both sides. Sirens 
were all around in the air. They 
knew he was loose and they were 
coming to get him now. A man 
could not escape. It was not done. 

He shuffled across the road and 
moved up the path. Turning, he 
saw, far oflf, men running. They 
wore black uniforms and they were 
waving at him. He hurried on, his 
feet thudding endlessly on the con- 
crete walk. 

He ran oflf the path and up a hill 
and tumbled in the grass. He 
crawled into scarlet-leaved bushes 
and watched through waves of diz- 
ziness as the men of the Control 
Police dashed by. 

Then he got up and started off, 
limping, his eyes staring ahead. 

At last. The shifting, dull glitter 
of the lake. He hurried on now, 
stumbling and tripping. Only a 
little way. He lurched across a field. 
The air was thick with the smell of 
rotting grass. He crashed through 

the bushes and there were shouts 
and someone fired a gun. He looked 
back stiffly to see the men running 
after h&n. 

He plunged into the water, flop- 
ping on his chest with a great 
splash. He struggled forward, walk- 
ing oh the bottom until the water 
had flooded over his chest, his 
shoulders, his head. Still walking 
while it washed into his mouth and 
filled his throat and weighted his 
body, dragging him down. 

His eyes were wide and staring 
as he slid gently forward onto his 
face on the bottom. His fingers 
closed in the silt and he made no 

LATER, the Control Police 
dragged him out and threw him 
in the black truck and drove off. 

And, inside, the technician tore 
off the sheeting and shook his head 
at the sight of tangled coils and 
water-soaked machinery. 

"They go bad," he muttered as 
he probed with pliers and picks, 
"They crack up and think they are 
men and go wandering. Too bad 
they don't work as good as people." 


The fiery liquid burned into the wound. 

The bombs jell down from a steel-blue sky. 
And the long, long night began 
Where hellhounds ran with eerie cries 
And the beastling — chained — was man. 


TKe Running Hounds 

By John W. Jakes 

JORDAN drained the last of the 
wine and set the mug down care- 
fully on the scarred wooden table. 
The old woman hummed softly to 
herself as she stirred the great black 
kettle that boiled in the fireplace. 
Outside the window, Jordan could 
see night creeping down the orange 
sky. The hills were endless rolls of 
thatched shadow. In the courtyard, 
the dogs bayed and snuffled hun- 
grily over the meat scraps he had 
bought for them. 

The other two travelers were 
watching him. They had been 
watching him since his arrival. One 
leaned back against the wall in a 

chair, idly strumming a guitar. 
Dirty hair matted his forehead. His 
chubby face was a mask of inno- 
cence. Jordan catalogued him, from 
his clothing, as a migratory work- 
er. But if you judged by the pistols 
in his belt and the expression on his 
face, then the appraisal was dis- 

The second man was near fifty, 
tall and stooping. His suit was of 
black rough cloth. A wide black hat 
sat on his angular head, throwing 
shadow on his forehead and hook- 
ing nose — ^his narrow lips and filthy 
chin stubble. 

Jordan decided it was time to 




move on. These two might be grow- 
ing suspicious. There were many 
suspicious people in the world now 
and the only way to escape them 
was to keep running. And all be- 
cause you were branded with a sign 
of hate. Jordan sighed and stared 
back into the wine cup. He was 
tired of running. 

But he prepared to rise, hitching 
up the belt about his waist, making 
certain his knife was secure. 

The tall stooped man chewed 
from a meat bone, wiped grease 
from his lips, and walked over to 
Jordan's table. "You a stranger in 
this territory?" 

"That's right— I am." 

"Those your dogs out there — 
they yours?" 

"Yes, they're mine." 

"What business you in?" The 
man's tone was persistent. 

Jordan breathed heavily. "I 
hunt," he replied, looking at the 
dusty spinning wheel in one corner, 
at the lantern spilling yellow light 
from the ceiling; at anything but 
the hunched man. "I hunt and sell 
the skins." 

The hunched man brushed back 
the edges of his coat. Two pistol 
butts thrust forward as he sat down. 
"And I suppose you travel," he said 
with feigned friendliness. "Risky, 
traveling. Never do it, if I can help 
it. Never can tell when somebody 
you meet might be a—" He paused 
and tapped his fingers on the table. 
"- I sorcerer." 

Jordan stiffened, then hoped the 
other hadn't noticed. Sorcerer. 
That meant scientist. His father 
had bcfii a scientist, far back in a 
dim time when all he remembered 

were bright blue mornings and sil- 
ver buildings in the sxm. Then great 
blooming clouds, and noise, and no 
more buildings. He had never 
known his father. But the black 
question mark burned into the 
small of his back at the prison 
camp, years before, told him that 
someone had known his father was 
a scientist. 

"I hate sorcerers," the man 
against the wall said. "I hate 'em so 
much, I kill 'em. I like to kill 'em. 
I like to kill anybody, only nobody 
hates anybody but sorcerers, so I 
kill 'em." He tittered loudly, finger- 
ing the guitar. 

Jordan felt the anger rising in 
him, but he kept quiet. 

"I hate them, too," the man in 
black said, "because they killed my 
wife and my children. When the 
blowups came, somebody exploded 
the factory in our tovra. I was away 
when it happened, that's why I'm 
here. The whole world got blown 
up, I didn't mind that. But our 
town, and my folks-—" 

Jordan could see a different kind 
of madness in this stranger. Venge- 
ful, misguided. He wondered how 
long he would have to sit and talk. 

"Now," said the tall man, "they 
call me Red Henry, the witch 
killer." One long knotty hand con- 
stricted. "An eye for an eye." 

THE instinct for safety was strong 
in Jordan, but this man stirred 
him deeply. "I think you're wrong. 
A lot of people are wrong. The 
science men aren't devils. They 
didn't cause the blowups. A few 
wanting power took the weapons 



the science men made. They caused 
the blowups." 

Red Henry was staring into 
space. He didn't seem to hear. 

"We'll get 'em," the man against 
the wall said. "We'll get 'em, wher- 
ever they are. Still lots of 'em run- 
ning around, hidin' in thickets, 
crawlin' out at night, but we'll get 
'em!" He giggled once more. 

"If you do," Jordan replied 
quickly, "you'll wipe out the only 
chance we have to survive. Those 
men made progress. When others — 
bad men — took the progress and 
used it for themselves, then came 
the darkness." 

"I don't like those words," Red 
Henry said, blinking. 

The other man was on his feet. 
In his hand was a pistol. He pointed 
it at Jordan. Lamplight winked off 
its barrel, and the old woman 
wasn't stirring her kettle any more. 

"I don't want any trouble, 
Lukey," she said. "My inn's got a 
reputation for no trouble." 

"He sounds like a sorcerer," 
Lukey replied, walking to the table. 
"He sure enough sounds like a sor- 
cerer, and you know what we do 
with them." 

Tensing Jordan darted his eyes 
around the room. Night had closed 
in over the courtyard, and his dogs 
were silent. 

Lukey stopped in front of the 
table and drew his other gun. He 
thumbed back the hammers with 
little snicking sounds. The woman 
watched fearfully, knotting up her 
plaid apron. 

"Move out of the way, Henry," 
Lukey cackled. "I want to make 
this clean and nice." 

Red Henry waved a hand. "First 
we find out if he's one of them. 
Then we fix him. Only we do it 
my way. We don't make it nice and 
clean. We make it long. Stand up, 
stranger, and take off your shirt." 

Jordan pushed back the bench 
and got to his feet. Four blue gun 
snouts were aimed at him. 

"Drop the knife on the table," 
Red Henry ordered. 

Jordan pulled it from the sheath 
and let it fall. The black kettle 
hissed and ran over, but the woman 
paid no attention. 

"Hurry him up," Lukey laughed. 
"We ain't had a witch man for a 
long time." 

"We got plenty of time," Red 
Henry stated fiady. Jordan's belly 
felt cold. Mechanically, he slipped 
his hands under the edge of his 
tunic, pulling it upward and off his 

"Now," said Red Henry, "turn 

Jordan turned, and stopped 
breathing. The room was very quiet 
for a moment, and then Lukey's 
giggle came bubbling up. 

"There it is, all right! Let me put 
a bullet there, Henry!" 

"The mark," came the other's 
sonorous voice. "The sign of those 
who sought the dark mysteries no 
man should know." Jordan heard a 
grunt, and a gun barrel raked along 
his back, leaving a stinging trail of 

"A family," Red Henry said 
heavily. "A whole family killed, be- 
cause of you and your kind. The 
whole world blown up in a devil's 
war. Well, this is one more we'H 
repay. Yoii've got the sign that 



can't be taken off — ^you're one of 

"Yes," Jordan said, "I am one of 
them. My father was a scientist, 
and I'm glad of that." 

"Fine," Red Henry muttered, 
"just fine. . . ." 

"Please," came the voice of the 
woman, "not in here, Henry. Take 
him outside. Don't do anything in 

Jordan stared at the rough plank 
wall. Red Henry said, "Turn 
around again." 

Red Henry kept watching him as 
he said to the woman, "You got a 
whip around here?" 

"In the shed." 

"Get it, Lukey." 

Reluctantly, Lukey put away his 
guns and vanished through a back 
room. He returned shortly with a 
long stretch of rawhide. Henry 
stuck one gun in his belt and hefted 
the whip. Ordering Lukey to take 
the lantern, he motioned Jordan to 
the front door. 

They stepped out into the court- 
yard. Jordan's dogs, three lean and 
dirty gray wolfhounds, jumped at 
his legs, pink tongues lapping his 
boots. "Down," Jordan ordered 
harshly, "down!" 

They slunk back, out of the circle 
of lantern light, and watched, 
tongues lolling, animal eyes alight. 

The evening wind ran over Jor- 
(1.1 II with cold hands, and the dark 
ti > I rustled softly. Beyond the hills, 
the sky was a pale bowl of small 
gliiiri iiii:; lights. 

I 111 \()ur hands in back of your 
\v 1," I\ -d Henry said, going 
;ii iiid I" liiiid him. Lukey stood in 
tiiiiit ol lull), guns trained on his 

stomach, joyously anticipating the 

JORDAN heard Red Henry's 
footsteps retreating. He heard 
the flat sliding of a whip laid out 
along the ground. He tensed, seeing 
his dogs crouching lean, deadly and 
wolf-like, near the wall. Now he 
would find out just how good they 

"An eye," breathed Red Henry 
somewhere, "for an eye. . . ." 

Coils of fire lashed around Jor- 
dan's body. Simultaneously, he 
screamed orders to the dogs and 
grabbed the whip. He dived for the 
ground, pulling on the lash, and 
went tumbling over and over in the 
dirt. A gun exploded over his head 
and there was a groan. 

The dogs were on Lukey, biting 
and tearing at him. Fangs flashed 
and came away red and sticky. 
Lukey squalled. 

Jordan rolled over quickly. Red 
Henry was clutching his side. 
Lukey's shot — ^missing Jordan — ^had 
struck him. 

Jordan got to his feet, catching 
up the whip from where it had 
fallen from Henry's lax hands. He 
unwound it as he ran. 

Lukey clubbed feebly at the dogs. 
Jordan ran across the yard, scoop- 
ing up a pistol from the dust. There 
was another explosion, whirling 
him around. His arm throbbed 
abruptly and became wet. Blue 
smoke curled from Red Henry's 

Jordan struck the gun away. 
Henry glared, holding his side — 
panting. "Kill me, devil," he whis- 



pered. "Add another link to the 
chains tying you up in hell." 

Jordan's finger tightened on the 
trigger. Sweat and blood ran down 
his other arm. He felt the muscles 
tightening and tightening — 

Doubt welled up. Abruptly, he 
turned away, calling off the dogs. 
Lukey was a sodden mass in the 
dirt. Jordan touched him with his 
boot. There was a faint moan from 
the ragged throat. 

The dogs snuffled, rubbing 
against Jordan's legs. He patted 
them, even as he began running 
toward the dark hills. His arm 
burned hanging loose beside him. 
He raced up the hill, the dogs run- 
ning near him. At the crest of the 
slope, he turned and glanced down 
at the inn yard. 

The woman was in the doorway, 
shaking a charm bag to ward off 

Red Henry stood near Lukey's 
corpse, eyes searching the night. 
One arm was clutched to his body, 
and was black with blood. The 
other held the lantern high. He was 
like some stooped malignant god. 
His mouth moved, and the words 
were carried to Jordan by the 
wind. " . . . I'll find you . . . you 
can't run far . . . I'll find you . . . 
witch hunt . . ." 

A prophet, thought Jordan, 
standing on the hill with the wind 
rushing by. A prophet of ignorance, 
turning the world into a black land 
of superstition and fear, and venge- 
ance. But we can rebuild — ^we 
must rebuild! We won't be outcasts 

But now, there was the necessity 
of escape. The country was un- 

familiar, as was all the country he 
had traveled through. It was hos- 
tile, and every person and every 
building might be deadly. Henry 
and Lukey and the inn had been 

Jordan's arm hurt. "Run," he 
whispered to the dogs. 

They ran across the open coun- 
try. The dogs whined. He stumbled 
up one dark hill, down, and up 
another. A thousand hills — un- 
friendly — each one higher and 
steeper than the last. The stars 
peered down. The wind was hot. 
He ran in a churning sea of liquid. 

He staggered to the top of an- 
other hill and paused. He called the 
dogs to a stop. He tried to move 
forward again and stumbled. His 
knees fell away under him and he 
rolled down the hill, bumping his 
arm and feeling fresh pieces of fire 
in him. 

At last, he came to a stop in the 
grass at the hill bottom. The dogs 
lapped his face with their warm 
tongues. The winds whispered tell- 
ing him that far back in the night a 
great devil hunt was beginning. 

The dogs whimpered but he did 
not hear . . . 

THE FIRST sensation was one of 
heat. His back was covered with 

Next, he became aware of the 
grass imder his stomach. It was 
scratching his skin. He opened one 
eye, then the other. 

He waited for feeling to take 
hold thoroughly. It moved quickly 
along his nerves, filling his shoul- 
ders, his legs, his arms. The pain 



from the wound had been reduced 
to a steady ache. 

He turned over and lay on his 
back, gathering strength. The 
morning sky overhead was a sheet 
of polished blue. He saw trees on a 
hilltop, lacy and nodding. Wild 
birds called shrilly. The morning 
world was a warm and friendly 

But not for him . . . 

Memory of the preceding night 
returned. Hastily, he stumbled to 
his feet. He had to go on. He had to 
keep running . . . 

The dogs opened their eyes with 
faint hungry growls. His own 
stomach rattled in emptiness, but 
there was no food. 

"Come on," he said, weakly, 
"we've got to move." 

They rose and trotted along be- 
side him as he lurched up the next 
hill. He pulled back his sleeve as 
he walked, examining the wound. 
He felt suddenly sick. 

Stumbling over the brow of a 
hill, he halted, knowing his wound 
would require attention before very 
long, if he was to escape infection. 

The hills ran on endlessly, van- 
ishing in a hazy blue-green line far 
in the distance. There were no 
towns — no buildings. Only a road 
about half a mile away, winding 
like a dirty snake through the 

He had started on down the hill 
when his eyes caught a line of dust 
rising from where the road dipped. 
The dogs growled their hunger. 

Jordan pulled the pistol from his 
belt and loped down the hill. Dust 
meant someone on the road, per- 
haps someone on a horse. The dogs 

ran low over the ground beside him, 
quiet now. 

His arm began to beat with a 
throbbing rhythm that corres- 
ponded to his pounding heart. The 
breath tore in and out of his chest, 
but he kept up the pace, making 
himself run — ^run — 

The last hill was ahead. It 
seemed to tower like a mountain 
into the blue infinity of the sky. H^ 
choked weakly and struggled for 
the top. The world, grown hazy 
black, swam into focus again. He 
seized a root and pulled himself up- 

The moving line of dust floated 
over the hilltop. His margin would 
be narrow. The dogs were already 
near the summit. 

Letting out a torn gust of air, he 
stumbled. Even with the rest he 
had gotten, his legs were weak — 
drained of strength by the damaged 
arm. He retched and crawled to the 
crest of the hill on his knees. 

Without looking down at the 
road, he thrust the gun out and 
croaked "Stop!" 

He could do nothing more than 
hold the gun and wait while the 
sound of his voice floated away on 
the wind. The bright sky was mo- 
tionless, the clouds gone. The dogs 
stood alertly beside him, ears erect, 
tongues hanging over white teeth. 

A gypsy wagon, pulled by two 
horses with sore-ridden hides, stood 
in the center of the road. Faint 
trails of dust still drifted from the 
big rear wheels. The side was 
painted with red and gold letters 
that said, S panic The Clown & 

A man and a girl watched him 



from the wagon seat. The man was 
stout, yet hungry looking. His green 
and yellow harlequin's suit was bag- 
gy, frayed and ill-fitting. A worn 
peaked cap with little bells was on 
his head. 

The girl was yellow-haired and 
skinny. Her mouth was daubed 
with too much red lip paint. The 
split flaring skirt displayed legs that 
needed flesh, and the white blouse 
revealed the tops of breasts that 
might once have been attractive. 
She was much younger than the 
man, but their faces both bore suf- 
fering and starvation and loneliness 
like livid brands. 

Jordan felt a quick, unexplain- 
able kinship. He stood up and 
walked unsteadily down the hill, the 
dogs at his heel. 

"What do you want widi us?" 
the man asked. "We have no 

"I don't want that," Jordan re- 
plied. "I want you to let me ride 
with you. My arm is hurt. I can't 
walk and I've got to — " He almost 
said get away, but checked himself. 
They might be tech-haters. 

The girl glared at him, as if she 
were used to arguing and fighting. 
"Why should we help you?" 

"My gun," he muttered. 

She made a disgusted noise and 
reached for the reins, but the man 
pushed her aside. "He is hurt, Jen- 
ny. We should help him." 

"But he might be pretending," 
she whispered intently. "We must 
reach Mount Gabriel, father. . . ." 

"Stop talking," Jordan ordered. 
"I'm going to climb inside the wag- 
on." He held his teeth together 
against the pain and took a step. 

Again his legs dissolved beneath 
him. He pawed the air with his 
good hand. The gun fell into the 
dust and he clutched at the wheel, 
leaning his head against the wood, 
trying to fight back the closing dark. 

Dimly, he heard someone jump 
from the seat. A hand pulled at his 
shoulder. New agony burned 
through him. 

"Let loose of the wheel," the girl 
was saying fiercely, "let loose — " 

He felt his tunic rip. His cheek 
was pressed against the rough wood 
of a wheel spoke. 

The girl's voice was a whisper. 

"Father . . . he's got the black 
mark on his back!" 

"A.Te you sure?" Bells jingled and 
the shirt was lifted away. 

"Quickly," came the man's voice. 
"Put him in the wagon. I'll drive. 
You attend to the wound. Make 
him comfortable." 

Jordan felt hands lifting him, 
up and up and up. . . . 

HE LAY on a pile of skins inside 
the wagon. They were stopped 
in a roadside glade. The girl gave 
him a wine jar and he took a long 
drink, feeling comfort in his stom- 
ach. He began to gnaw on a slice 
of rye bread the girl offered. 

Then she leaned back on thin 
haunches and watched him. The 
man in the harlequin costume sat 
on the tailgate, holding the cap in 
his hand and idly jingling the bells. 

"You're a scientist," he said. 

Jordan stiffened. 

The girl laughed shortly and 
pulled down one side of her blouse. 
A black question mark was branded 



into the skin, just behind the arm- 
pit. "Don't be afraid. We've both 
got them." 

"My name is Spain," the man 
said. "I trust you because no one 
who was in his right mind would 
purposely have that brand on him. 
I was — a chemist, once." His eyes 
brimmed with remembrance. 

"You travel disguised as a 
clown?" Jordan asked curiously. 

"Yes. We lived in Illinois for a 
long time, hiding in a cave near 
the university they burned after the 
blowup. But word came from 
Mount Gabriel, and friends got us 
these clothes and this wagon. My 
daughter and I started out." He 
brushed a hand across his face. "I 
went to college, once. And I used to 
sing and dance quite a bit. Social 

The girl studied Jordan with 
deep pity as her father continued, 
"We're going to Mount Gabriel, 
because in that town, scientists are 

Jordan sat up, alert in spite of 
the wounded arm. 

"Word came secretly," Spain re- 
lated. "All the scientists of this 
country are gathering there, to wait 
for the time when people won't be 
afraid of us. That time will come- 
certainly. It's a deserted town, no 
one goes there any more. But we'll 
wait and our time will come — " 

"I've hoped that there might be 
such a place," Jordan said. "I 
would like to go with you." 

"Not before we stop in the next 
town and attend to your wound," 
Jenny said. "It'd be dangerous to 
leave it alone, and we don't have 
any medical supplies with us." 

"You don't understand. Someone 
will be hunting me. The towns will 
be dangerous." 

"Someone is hunting all of us," 
the girl said. 

Jordan shook his head stubborn- 
ly. "One man is hunting me." He 
told them about Red Henry, and 
the fight at the inn. "He waits for 
an opportunity to kill .anyone with 
a black question mark on them. He 
blames all scientists for what hap- 
pened to his family. He knows I'm 
wounded, and he'll direct all his 
energy to finding me. Towns — " 

Spain waved him silent. "That 
chance we'll have to take." He 
dropped off the tailgate, replaced 
his cap and looked at the sky. 

The wagon began to roU. The 
rocking motion soothed him, made 
him tired. He lay back on the skins 
and watched the wooden ceiling. 

Jenny sat beside him. "I wish 
you'd go past the town," he said 
half-heartedly. "I'll be all right." 

She didn't answer. He felt warm 
fingers touch his skin. "Rest now." 
Her voice had lost some of its harsh 
stridency. "Rest and get back your 

The warm fingers stayed on his 
skin, clinging there, as if they had 
found something in a lonely world. 

The wagon rocked on, and the 
ceiling grew darker as the sun fell 
in the west. Mount Gabriel. The 
name echoed in his thoughts. Red 
Henry was searching for him, but 
somewhere ahead in the vast wild 
lands of witchcraft and fear, there 
was sanctuary. Only a few more 
desperate miles — rest — let the 
strength seep back into t\visted 
empty muscles — rest — 



He heard the dogs barking play- 
fully as they followed along behind. 
Then even that became distant . . . 

NIGHT HAD come when they 
reached a town. Jordan was 
perched on the wagon seat between 
Jenny and her father. He felt rested 
and fairly strong. 

The horses shambled wearily 
down a tree-covered lane. Jordan 
saw a sign hanging blasted and 
askew in the starlight. Galena Junc- 
tion, Pop. 5,633, A Fine Town For 
Work And Play. The letters were 
faded and streaked with rsun water. 
Jordan laughed silently. 

The streets were dusty, quiet. 
Houses showed lines of lamplight 
behind shutters, but no face looked 
out inquisitively as the horses 
moved with a soft, rhythmic plop- 

"We'll tie the wagon up ahead," 
Spain announced, "and act like 
we're staying for the night." He in- 
dicated the town square. Glass faces 
of shops stared vacantly. Bricks 
were scarred with soot. The court- 
house lawn was overgrown with 
weeds, and a stack or iron cannon- 
balls decorated one corner. Lan- 
terns hung on posts all about the 
square, casting tall shadows on the 

The wagon pulled into the 
square and Spain drew it to a stop 
near the shattered courthouse steps. 
"We've got to be out of here by 
dawn," he said. "It isn't safe to be 
in a town at all, much less in the 

"Then let's move on right now," 
Jordan insisted. 

Spain shook his head stubbornly. 
"That wound needs attention. 
We'll — " He sat up straight, eyes 
darting to the vacant street on his 
left. "Quiet!" 

Four men in work clothes and 
wide hats were coming around the 
courthouse and toward the wagon. 
Shotguns protruded from the 
crooks of their elbows. 

Jenny whispered to Jordan, 
"Dad will talk to them." 

The four men walked up to the 
wagon, shotguns glinting. "Make 
some light, pilgrims," one of them 

Jenny fished out a match, struck 
it, and put it to the lantern hanging 
from the lip of the wagon roof. 
Gold light spilled over the knot of 
shadow that was the men. 

Their faces were bearded and 
thin and suspicious. The leader 
had spots of food on his shirt front 
and black sweat rings under his 
arms. He examined the sign on the 
side of the wagon and asked, 
"What's your business in Galena 
Junction, pilgrims?" 

"We're entertainers," Spain said 
with mock joviality. "We have a 
little show, my friend. We've been 
on the road all day, and we decided 
to stop in this peaceful little town 
and present our show tomorrow 
morning." He added fawningly, "If 
that's all right with you." 

The man grunted meaninglessly. 
One of the others lit a cigar and ex- 
haled puffs of blue smoke that 
whirled upward in the night air. 
His eyes crawled over Jentiy. He 
grinned and switched his gaze to 
Jordan. He frowned. "All of you in 
the show?" he asked. 



Jordan reached behind the seat, 
hiding his movement with his body. 
His fingers closed about the butt of 
a pistol. He listened for the dogs, 
heard them snifBing somewhere at 
the side af the wagon. He stared 
back at the four men. 

"Of course we're all in the show," 
Spain boomed. The echoes bounced 
off the buildings. "Spanio and 
Company, that's what the sign 

The leader said, "That's what it 
says all right. Keep your wagon 
here till morning. Come on, boys." 

They walked back the way they 
had come. Just as they were about 
to round the comer of the court- 
house, the one with the cigar 
glanced back to where the three sat 
in the lantern glow. 

Jordan held himself steady, not 
lowering his eyes as he wanted to, 
but keeping them fixed on the 

After a minute, Jenny sighed and 
said, "They're gone." 

Jordan glanced quickly to the 
street. It was empty. Blue wisps of 
smoke floated under one of the 
lamp posts. He examined his arm. 
A soggy red stain had come 
through onto the shirt. "He saw I 
was wounded," Jordan said abrupt- 
ly. "One of them was looking at 
my arm. I didn't know it had 
soaked through." 

"And we still don't know where 
the doctor lives," Spain added. 
"That means hunting for him. It 
may be dangerous, with them pa- 
trolling like that. Jenny, drive 
around to the other side of the 
courthouse." He pointed off to the 
right with one hand, extinguishing 

the lantern with the other. "When 
we come to that patch of shadow, 
Jordan and I will get off. You stay 
here, climb into the back and keep 
quiet. If they come back, maybe 
they'll think we're sleeping." 

She started to protest, but Spain 
silenced her with a hand to his Ups. 
He gave her the reins. Reluctandy, 
she pulled them to the right, and 
the wagon began to move. 

As they swung around the cor- 
ner of the square, Spain motioned 
and jumped quickly from the seat. 
Jordan followed, landing with a 
thud that jarred pain along his 
arm. They ran through the murky 
blackness and flattened themselves 
against a shop front, watching. 

Jenny drove to the appointed 
position, dropped the reins and van- 
ished from the seat. The dogs set- 
tled down behind the wheels. 

"All right," Spain whispered. 
"Let's move." 

They slipped into an alley and 
ran down to the next street. There 
were houses here, but no lights. Jor- 
dan took one side, Spain the other. 
They examined each gate, peering 
in the starlight for a sign indicat- 
ing a doctor. 

"Nothing," Jordan called softly 
as he reached the end of the block. 
Spain motioned to a cross street and 
they began their search once more. 
Somewhere in this dark maze of 
streets there had to be a doctor. 

A thin sliver of moon crept over 
the housetops. Trees on the lawns 
sighed comfortingly, and Jordan 
felt again the stinging loneliness 
that belonged to him and his kind. 
The houses were dark, but secure, 
even with their superstitions. 



GAIN the street produced 
nothing. They turned one 
more corner. Half way down the 
block, Jordan saw a black square 
hung from a gatepost. He strained 
to make out the lettering. M. Ray- 
burn. Medicines. Two words had 
been added — painted on in a hasty 
scrawl. After the blowup, Jordan 
thought bitterly. The sign now read 
Medicines and Spells. 

He motioned to Spain. The older 
man moved across the street, 
crouching low, holding the bells on 
his cap to keep them from jingling. 

Jordan pushed the gate open. 
Boards groaned and creaked as they 
moved up the walk and onto the 
frame porch. No light showed with- 

Spain fumbled for the bell, 
breathing heavily. "I've got my gun 
ready," Jordan said. 

Spain beat upon the door. They 
waited tensely, listening. No sound 
came to their ears except the wind 
in the dark trees. Spain knocked a 
second time. 

A spot of light shimmered beyond 
the cut-glass doorpane. It enlarged 
slowly, accompanied by footsteps. 
A shadow fell on the glass from in- 
side. It held a lamp high and 
reached out and opened the door. 

A wizened old man in a night 
shirt looked out at them apprehen- 
sively. "What do you want?" 

"My friend has a wounded arm," 
Spain told him. "I want you to fix 

"Go away," the old man mum- 
bled, trying to close the door. "Go 
away and leave me alone." 

Jordan lifted his gun and pointed 
it at the old man's head. Rheumy 

eyes widened in fright. "Stand 
back," Spain said. "We're coming 

The old man shufHed backwards, 
the fear of the unknown — bom 
when the bombs fell — welling up 
in him. Jordan and Spain walked 
into the hall. "Put out your light," 
Jordan said. The old man turned 
down the lamp as Spain closed the 
front door. 

"Now lead us to your office," 
Jordan ordered. 

They walked through a musky 
parlor smelling of lavender, and the 
man called Rayburn, pushed back 
another door, turning up his lamp. 
He stood shuffling his veined hands 
nervously, ludicrous in the baggy 
night shirt. 

"Terrible," he kept mumbling. 
"Terrible to open at night. Night is 
the time when they walk'—" 

"Keep quiet," Spain said. They 
surveyed the room. All the standard 
medical equipment was present. 
There was a desk and a reclining 
table and a case containing instru- 
ments that glittered with a white 
silver sheen behind glass doors. The 
room smelled of cool antiseptic. 

But there were other objects. 

A wooden vampire stake hung on 
one wall. A witch-cross twined with 
wolfbane hung on another. Charm 
bags littered the desk, and a porce- 
lain slab showed an uncompleted 
mess of clay, hair and fingernail 
parings. A bare human skull gaped 
in crazy mirth from atop the instru- 
ment case. 

"Who are you?" Rayburn asked 
querulously. "What are you run- 
ning from? Or are you — sorcerers?" 

Jordan felt the same anger rise 



that had come with the words of 
Red Henry back at the inn. He 
shifted the gun to his weak hand 
and pulled up his tunic as he turned 
around. His mouth twisted. 

"Take a look— ^ocior." 

Rayburn choked in a high- 
pitched voice and cowered back. 
"Devils! Black spawn of heUl" The 
sagging flesh on his jowls quivered. 

"Spawn of hell or not," Spain 
replied, "you're going to take that 
bullet out of his arm." 

"I won't! I won't help your 

"Would you like me to put a 
curse on you?" Jordan asked with 
sudden insight. His voice carried 
malicious overtones, partly jest, 
partly sick irony. "Would you like 
your bones to dissolve and your 
flesh to drop off in rotten pieces? I 
can do that, doctor, because I'm 
one of them!" 

Rayburn put his face in his hands 
and sobbed softly. Then he looked 
up, trembling, "Take off your 

Jordan handed the gun to Spain. 
He pulled his tunic off his good 
arm, then over his head, and finally 
removed it from the wounded arm. 
Sitting on the long table, he 
watched Rayburn gathering the 
jars of antiseptic and the instru- 
iiiints from the case where the skull 

I Ic shambled over to Jordan and 

li.iubcd at the wound with some 

li(|ui{i from a black bottle. Jordan 

\ I iKlc-red if it was alcohol. It didn't 

iiiiL'. He was puzzled. 

Ihrn Rayburn got a gourd rattle 
1 1 HI .1 disk drawer. With perfect 
Ic ,11 .1.1/(1 1 siiitcrity, he began to 

shake it back and forth before the 

"What are you doing?" Spain 
asked sharply. 

"Proceeding by ritual," Rayburn 
whined. "I must do it this way." 
Jordan saw that the liquid had 
made his wound flesh-colored. He 
picked up the bottle. "What is 

"Devil cleanser," the man 

Jordan corked the bottle and 
handed it to Spain. 'T)evil cleanser. 
Flesh colored paint. Use it for 
clown makeup." 

Spain dropped the bottle in one 
voluminous pocket of his harlequin 

'Torget ritual," Jordan said. 
"Just get the bullet out of there." 

"Please," Rayburn protested. "I 
don't want to die burning — " 

"Remember what I can do." 

Rayburn remembered. He re- 
moved the lamp chimney and 
passed several knives through the 
flame. "No time to purify the in- 
struments," he muttered. 

He picked up one of the scalpels 
after cleaning off the wound. The 
blade sparkled like a small star in 
the lamplight. Rayburn bent down, 
blade poised over the wound. Jor- 
dan saw sweat running down his 
neck, dampening his night shirt. 

"Be careful," Jordan said. "Very 
careful." he knew he could not ex- 
pect anesthetics. There were none. 

Rayburn began to cut at the 

Jordan's fingers were scarlet 
where they clutched the table. The 
knife dug. The color of the fingers 
changed from scarlet to livid 



white . . . 

Rayburn breathed with noisy 
gasps. He wiped away the blood 
with a rag and kept cutting. 

THE PIECE of lead clanked into 
the enameled tray. Rayburn 
sewed up the wound, bandaged it 
with clean cloth, and began picking 
up the bloody rags from the floor. 

"We'd better hurry," Spain ad- 
vised. "It isn't safe to leave Jenny 
with the wagon for too long. How 
do you feel?" 

"Bettfer," Jordan replied honest- 
ly, in spite of the pain. He bowed 
mockingly to Rayburn. "Thank you 
. . . doctor." 

The old man looked at him, swal- 
lowing hard. A question framed it- 
self suddenly within his eyes. 

"Wait a moment. If you are — 
one of them — you should have been 
able to remove the wound yourself. 
I didn't think of that." Resentment 
for the mental suffering he had en- 
dured sprang to light on his face. 
"How powerful are you?" he whis- 

"I'm a human being like yourself. 
The only difference is, I refuse to 
believe in lies." 

"Come. on, Jordan," Spain said 
nervously. "Don't waste time — " 

"But you wear the black question 
mark," Rayburn whispered. Dazed, 
not knowing whether to believe in 
Jordan as a demon or not, the old 
man stumbled forward, thrusting a 
scalpel ahead of him. "I'll see how 
strong you are — " His eyes were 
open wide. 

Spain called a sharp warning. 
Rayburn swung the knife at Jor- 

dan, who fended with his good arm 
and pushed the old man backwards. 

The doctor stumbled, arms flung 
out. He clutched at the desk. His 
fingers caught the lamp and pulled 
it over. The flames crept out like 
red tongues, licking over the bloody 
rags scattered on the floor. 

Jordan and Spain turned for the 
door as the flames began to dance 
over the wooden planking. 

They rushed through the house 
and out into the street. Doors were 
open now. Other men and women 
in night dress were watching in 
panic as yellow fire lit up the inside 
of the doctor's house like a magic 

"We must move fast," Spain said, 
as they ran toward the square. "The 
fire will bring many people — " 

Hands clutched at them. Angry 
voices asked where they were going; 
who, what, why. Jordan pushed 
them away roughly and ran on. 

They dodged through back alleys 
and yards as a red smear stained the 

Down one last alley, and they 
were running across the square. 
The wagon remained in its original 
position. Dim outlines showed 
where the dogs lay under the 

The horses were skittering nerv- 
ously, as if recently disturbed. The 
two men reached the wagon. The 
dogs did not get up. 

Jordan knelt down in the dark- 
ness, reaching out with fearful 
hands. He touched the soft warm 
fur of one dog. He felt something 
else. Sickened, he examined the 

All three of the dogs had bullet 



holes in their heads. 

"Spain," he said urgently, but 
the older man was searching the 
interior of the wagon. 

"She's gone, Jordan," he whis- 

"The dogs," Jordan, murmured, 

"Jordan, Jenny's gone!" 

"That's right, pilgrims," said a 
voice from the shadows of the 
courthouse. "Lay down the pistol." 

Spain yanked back the gun ham- 
mer, but Jordan grabbed his wrist. 
"No! We've got to find out what 

Weakly, Spain dropped the gun 
into the dirt. The men moved out 
from the shadows. 

"Where is she?" Spain said 

"Locked up in a house," replied 
the leader, "until dawn." 

"How did you find Out about 
me?" Jordan asked. Hope seemed a 
lost and lonely thing. 

The leader said, "We seen your 
arm, so I went and talked with 
somebody who came into town 
earlier hunting a feller with a 
bloody arm." 

Jordan realized that there were 
five men, instead of four. Even as 
he thought, the fifth stepped out 
to where the lamplight fell on the 
lower half of his body. One black- 
coated arm hung loosely, pressing a 
wounded side. The other hand car- 
ried a pistol. 

Suddenly, he was on Jordan, 
clubbing at his head. Shotgun bar- 
rels lifted, silver-blue bars flashing 
in the night. Jordan fought back, 
but weakly — 

There was dirt under him. Spain 

was struggling. The stars were tinted 
with a scarlet haze, and voices lifted 
in the distance. His hand flopped 
against furry hide that was growing 
cold. He saw one of Red Henry's 
boots coming for his face. He jerked 
his head aside, but not in time. 

Complete darkness smashed 
down on him and covered him over. 

SPAIN tossed the black bottle 
into the air and caught it ab- 
sently. He was standing at the win- 
dow of the parlor. Out on the lawn, 
men were gathered, talking quietly, 
scratching their beards. Black soot 
and sparks still drifted in clouds 
across the rooftops from the wreck- 
age of Rayburn's house. 

Jenny sat on the embroidered 
settee, watching Jordan who rested 
loosely in a large brown rocker that 
creaked ever so little as it swayed. 
Jordan's mind worked endlessly, 
thinking of Mount Gabriel where 
the other scientists would be gather- 

Abruptly, Jenny got up. "I wish 
they'd tell us what they're going to 

Spain tossed the black bottle. 
"Red Henry told me. They're wait- 
ing for dawn. Then they're going to 
take us outside of town and kill usl 
It sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't 
it?" His smile was artificial. He 
tossed the bottle once more and it 
fell back into his hand with a faint 

"Why all of us?" Jordan mas- 
saged his arm, trying to rub away 
the pain. 

"I don't understand," Jenny said. 

"I do," Spain replied. "He means 



that he's the only one Red Henry 
really wants." 

"And he doesn't know you two 
have the black question mark, does 
he?" Jordan asked. 

"Don't," Jenny pleaded. "Please 
don't talk like that." 

"He didn't look for a mark on 
me," Spain continued, watching the 
brightening pearl sky. "You, Jen- 
ny?" ' 

"No," she said angrily. "Please — " 

"Well," he sighed, "it's almost 
dawn. The men are begining to 
move out there." They were hefting 
their guns restlessly, eyes on the 
house, awed, and eager to be fin- 
ished with their job. 

"Be practical," Jordan went on, 
even though a great sickness fought 
and writhed inside his stomach. 
"I'm no scientist. I only carry the 
black mark. You're a chemist. You 
would be useful at Mount Gabriel, 
but I — " He gestured simply with 
uplifted palms. 

"Stop it," Jenny cried, turning 
her back on both of them. "Stop it! 
We're together — " 

"He's right, you know," Spain 
said softly. 

"In one way," Jenny said. Her 
voice was harsh. "Of course he's 
right in one way, but not — " She 

"But how could we do it?" Spain 
asked, approaching Jordan. "I'm 
fool enough to want to live when 
someone offers me a chance." 

Jordan pointed at the black bot- 
tle. "That might blot out the ques- 
tion marks." 

Spain's eyes grew large and ex- 
cited. He rubbed sweaty hands on 
his harlequin suit. "Let's try," he 

said eagerly. It was a childish gig- 

Jordan nodded assent. 

Spain slipped the suit down off 
his aging shoulders. Behind one jut- 
ting shoulderblade was the mark. 
Jordan opened the bottle with 
trembling hands and slopped a little 
of the paint over the symbol. 

"Walk to the window and pull 
back the curtains," he ordered. 
Spain hurried to comply. The shim- 
mering light of new dawn dripped 
over him. 

"It doesn't show," Jordan told 
him, almost with regret. 

Spain struggled to get back into 
his suit. "Jenny," he said anxiously. 
"Put some on her." 

Jordan moved closer, seeing the 
way her head shook, seeing her skin- 
ny body that might once have been 
womanly, and might be womanly 

He put a hand on- her shoulder. 

"Don't touch me." 

He pressed her shoulder and felt 
the skin faintly warm. "It's the right 

She pulled the blouse away and 
he daubed on the paint. Then she 
turned and looked at him, all of the 
hunger and longing and fear of the 
dark years reaching out to hold him 
for a moment. 

"Mount Gabriel will be lonely," 
she said, and walked to the win- 

Hastily, Jordan gave Spain the 
bottle of paint, and the older man 
deposited it again in his pocket. 

Jordan started to speak when 
boots sounded outside the door. 
They waited silently and the door 



opened slowly. 

Red Henry, great blue pistol in 
one hand, gazed at Jordan, seeing 
the finish of his mad hunt. The 
other two he dismissed with cursory 
glances. And Jordan knew they had 
a chance. 

"You want me to die, don't you?" 
he asked. 

Red Henry's mouth twitched. 
"Yes, I want you to die, although I 
can't do it slowly this time, with all 
the townsmen watching." 

"But did you know there's a 
price? There's a price for every- 
thing in the world, even for sorcer- 

His long jaw raised quizzically, 
just a bit shaken. "What is the 

"The lives of these two people." 
He balanced himself lightly on his 
feet, exactly as his approach had to 
be balanced. 

Henry laughed suddenly. "Why 
should I spare them, sorcerer? They 
took you in. They helped you." 

"Because you hate only sorcerers. 
The sorcerers caused the death of 
your family." He moved quickly to 
the window, caught a fistful of cloth 
and ripped the clown suit. He tore 
Jenny's blouse in the same fashion. 

"These people aren't sorcerers," 
he said quickly, not daring to look 
at their backs. 

RED HENRY grunted and Jenny 
and her father turned around so 
that their backs were no longer ex- 

"They have no mark on them," 
Red Henry admitted, "but they 
helped you." 

"Either you let them go," Jordan 
said, readying his final desperate 
stroke, "or you don't get me. And 
above all, you want to see me die 
... by your hand." 

The black coated man peered at 
Jordan for weapons. He saw none. 

"I have a way to die by my own 
hand." Jordan jerked the doctor's 
bandages away and dug his fingers 
into the sewn edges of the wound, 
fighting the pain. 

"I can pull this open and bleed, 
but I know you want the death your 
way. Let them go, and I do noth- 

The other man's fingers were 
stroking the gun butt nervously. 
"All right," he breathed. "I want 
you. They can go free." 

Jordan let out a long breath and 
relaxed, wishing he had some god 
to which he could offer thanks. 

"Outside," Red Henry ordered. 
"It's dawn." 

No one spoke as they walked out 
of the old house. The wagon was 
brought around. Red Henry, Jor- 
dan and the rest of the men 
mounted horses. The little caval- 
cade rode toward the east as the 
sky began to turn white as a shroud. 

The buildings dropped behind, 
one by one, and the hills began. 
They stopped at a large tree near 
the road. Jordan's arm was almost 
empty of aching. 

Red Henry and the other men 
dismounted. They came toward 
Jordan where he sat his horse. 
Henry reached into his saddlebag 
and brought out a long wooden 
stake, sharply pointed. 

He walked to the small circle of 
men aroimd Jordan. He smiled. 



"Now, witch-man — " 

The sun began to glint yellow 
over the hills. Jenny and her father 
watched from the wagon, their 
faces streaked and dirty. 

"I'm going to drive this right 
through your heart," Red Henry 
said softly. A morning wind made 
soft noises in the trees. 

Jenny screamed. 

Red Henry turned, angered. He 
peered at her for a moment, then 
dragged one of his pistols free and 
pointed it at her. 

Through the faint mist of pain 
still on him, Jordan saw her face, 
inscribed like a fiery image in his 
mind. He saw the gun. 

Savagely he kicked the horse, 
dragging its head back and up, 
tearing at the reins. The horse lifted 
its feet high in the air, making shrill 
noises of fear. The men cursed. Red 
Henry whirled, mouth open, swing- 
ing the gun at the head of the horse 
and at the sharp hooves that came 
down and smashed his skull. 

Red Henry's gun exploded in the 
dust as he lay there, blood spilling 
out of his mouth. He jerked once or 
twice on the ground. Jordan hung 
onto the reins as the horse reared 
again, striking at the men. They 
scattered toward the trees, hunting 
their guns. 

The world began to darken 
around Jordan. He felt, somehow, 
from the warm flow on his body, 
that his wound had broken. And 
the guns were lifting, from the trees. 
Lifting at him. 

He kicked the horse again as it 
clattered past the wagon away from 

the grove. For seemingly endless 
hours he rode that way, lost in a 
half -world of grim fevered trees and 
dark sunlight. The horse swayed 
and bucked under him. He was los- 
ing his hold. . . . 

And at last he let his arms relax 
completely. He was lifted upward 
for a moment, and then there was 
nothing under him, and then very 
suddenly, a hard something that 
was the earth. Hoofs rattled away 
into the distance. 

He lay in the middle of the road, 
in the sun, watching with strange 
curiosity the way the red blood 
from his wound mixed with the 
grainy brown dirt of the road. And 
then the sun, a dying candle in the 
sky, went out. 

The darkness that came after was 
only a partial dark and there was a 
face; Jenny bending over him, and 
the rocking, as if he were in a cofHn 
that floated on a dark sea. 

His arm did not hurt so much. 
He was tired. 

Jenny kept saying words. ". . . 
Red Henry killed . . . they were dis- 
organized ... we followed you . . . 
found you in the road . . . Moimt 
Gabriel . . . you . . ." 

The thoughts made sense now. 
Through the dark and the hurt, 
they made a pattern. Mount 
Gabriel. Mount Gabriel, to be built 
tall and strong above the fear and 
the hatred, for the morning that 
would inevitably come. 

And he would be there, with her. 

The rocking carried him on into 
the healing darkness from which he 
knew he would soon return. 


Life had become a mad scramble for points. 

Money was worthless, yet no man dared 
go broke. It was all pretty confusing 
to Mark until "Point-Plus-Pearlie" told 
him — - 


By Noel Loomis 

MARK RENNER looked anx- 
iously backward as he ran up 
the street to tTie place where the 
faded gold lettering on one window 
said "Jewelry." That would be a 
good place to hide, he thought. 
Most of the plate-glass windows 
and doors along the street were 
broken out as in fact they were 
everywhere, and had been for 
twenty years — ^but one of the jew- 
elry windows and the door, pro- 
tected by iron grating, were still 
whole and would help to conceal 

With one final glance back at the 

comer, he climbed the grating, 
scuttled across it, and dropped 
down. Then, keeping low, he 
ducked in among the dusty old 
counters and stopped abruptly, lis- 

He heard Conley's slow, slapping 
footsteps as the tall man rounded 
the corner and came up the street. 
He forced himself to breathe softly 
in spite of the pounding of his 
heart. The dust rose a little around 
him and got in his nostrils and he 
wanted to sneeze, but by sheer will- 
power he choked it down. 

Conley was from the Machine — 




Central Audit Bureau — and the 
Machine knew by now that Mark 
was three thousand points in the 
red. Three thousand points — when 
you were supposed to be always 
within one day's point of a balance. 
You were allowed twelve hundred 
points a day, so Mark was now two 
and a half days in debit. 

He'd been walking the streets in 
a sort of daze, signing slips right 
and left while his own pad of slips 
stayed in his pocket. He hadn't 
cared, either, until now, because in 
this brave new world of the one 
freedom — ^freedom from work — he 
was abominably unhappy. 

Everybody struggled all day to 
get enough points to stay even with 
Central, and what good did it do 
them? You got even one day, but 
the next day you had to start all 
over. There wasn't any point to it. 
So he'd said to hell with it, and for 
five days now he'd ignored the Ma- 
chine entirely except to line up 
automatically once a day at the 
concourse to have his card audited. 
And for five straight days the bal- 
ance had been in red. 

Then, today, he had seen Con- 
ley on the street, coming toward 
him. All of a sudden Mark had 
been scared. He didn't know what 
Central would do to him^nobody 
knew — ^but he didn't want to find 
outj either. He ran from Conley. 

Now he crouched in the dust be- 
hind an empty counter while Con- 
ley's footsteps approached. He held 
his breath when they got close, and 
when they passed the broken win- 
dow he was very thankful. 

It was late afternoon and he 
thought Conley would go back to 

Central. Nobody knew much about 
Conley except that he represented 
the Machine and that he seemed 
to disappear within it every after- 

So, presently, Mark crawled out 
of the broken window and walked 
down to Main Street. He looked 
carefully right and left and then, 
not seeing Conley' s tall form above 
the traffic, he wandered slowly 
down the street, trying to figure 
things out. Why wasn't there any- 
thing worth while to do? What was 
the reason for all the broken win- 
dows and empty stores? Had there 
once been places where people 
could buy things like food and 
clothes? Maybe — before Central 
Audit Bureau had come into exist- 
ence. Or had Central always been 

Mark saw the old lady sitting in 
the wheel-chair. He turned out ab- 
sently to walk by her. He saw her 
put her foot in his way but his brain 
wasn't working. He stumbled over 
her foot. 

Instantly the old lady half arose 
from her chair as if in pain, shriek- 
ing and brandishing her cane, the 
leg held stiffly out in front of her. 
"You've injured me," she shrieked 
in a raucous voice. "You've hurt 
my lame foot!" 

Mark stood there dumbly. He 
was a young man and so he didn't 
at once foresee what was about to 

A crowd gathered in no time. 
The old lady was putting on a 
show. Mark didn't get it. He would 
have allowed her a thousand points 
— even fifteen hundred — ^without 
argument. But he got the shock of 



his young life. 

"Thirty thousand points!" she 
screamed at him, and thrust a pad 
of slips at him. "Sign my slip, 

MARK TOOK the pad auto- 
matically. He took the pen- 
cil she held out. He started to sign. 
He'd never get a credit balance at 
the Central Bureau now, but he 
didn't care. Maybe he'd get in so 
deep they'd give him some work. 

The old lady's voice rose unex- 
pectedly. "My feelings are hurt, 
too. He did it deliberately. Five 
thousand points for my injured 

Dazedly Mark wrote down 
"Thirty-five thousand and no 
more," and signed his name. He 
handed the pad back to her and 
started on. The crowd was leaving. 

But a voice stopped him. A soft 
voice. "Wait, son." He looked back. 
He started to go on, then he saw 
the old lady's eyes on his. "Stick 
around," she said. There wasn't any 
raucousness in her voice now. 
"Wait till the crowd goes. I want 
to talk to you." 

Presently he was walking beside 
her while she laboriously operated 
the two big hand-wheels that pro- 
pelled the chair. Two blocks away 
she turned into an empty building 
marked "Groceries." Mark helped 
her cross the threshold. 

Inside, she amazed him by 
springing out of the chair and 
standing quite steadily. She was 
small and she wasn't as old and 
wrinkled as he had thought. "You 
get in the chair," she said. "I'll push 

you. I need the exercise." 

A minute later she was pushing 
him briskly along the street while 
Mark sat, still half dazed, in the 
wicker chair, her old red shawl was 
across his lap. 

"Get cramps in my legs, to say 
nothing of my bottom," she ob- 
served, "sitting there all day." She 
saw him stiffen. "Oh, you needn't 
be shocked. After all, I'm old 
enough to be your grandmother. I 
was bom in 1940, you know." 

"Nineteen-forty," Mark re- 
peated, wonderingly. "Gee, that 
was back in the days when every- 
body worked. I wish / could work." 

"Well, it's a changed world," she 
observed. "In those days, you had 
to work." 

At that instant Mark heard the 
ominous slapping footsteps. He 
looked ahead, and there was Con- 
ley, easily noticeable because of the 
type N hat a head above everybody 
else, coming toward them. Mark 
snatched up the red shawl and 
wrapped it around his face to the 
nose and pulled his hat low over his 
eyes. He watched from under the 
type L brim while Conley ap- 
proached. He held his breath while 
Conley fixed his deep eyes on him 
for a moment, but Conley went by, 
and once more he was safe. 

The old lady trotted briskly 
along. They passed a few people 
who stared at them, but Mark was 
thinking. "This is 2021," he ob- 
served. "You're eighty-one years 
old. You must know all about 

"I'm quite spry," she pointed 
out, "though I must say I am work- 
ing up a sweat right now. No, 



no — " She pushed Mark back into 
the chair. "It's good for me. Don't 
get enough exercise any more. Now 
you just sit there. You're in a bad 
way. Anybody who'd fall for such a 
phony act and release thirty-five 
thousand points without even an 
argument — well, of course," she 
said archly, "I do have a well- 
turned ankle." 

But the enormity of Mark's debit 
with Central when the old lady 
should turn in his slip, began to 
worry him. He wondered if he 
could get it back from her. He 
wasn't happy with the world, and 
things were all wrong, and all that, 
but still — well, he did have to live 
in it. Thirty-five thousand points. 
He began to worry. He wished he 
knew what the penalty would be. 
He wondered if the old lady knew. 
What were these points all about 
anyway? "You must know," he 
said, "how the world got into this 

She chuckled, "For thirty-five 
thousand points, I guess you've got 
a right to the story." She tiumed 
into the archway of a standard type 
B apartment house. 

He wondered what she would do 
with all those points. What did any- 
body do with them? Everybody had 
about the same living quarters. 
Food was furnished by automatic 
venders at the Hydroponic Farms. 
Clothes were provided, ready- 
made; all you had to do was put 
your credit card in a machine, 
punch the buttons for your meas- 
urements, and a suit would drop 
down the chute. 

Mark got out of the chair and 
helped her inside with it. He took 

oflf his hat and started uncertainly 
to leave, but she put her hand on 
his arm, "No, no. Have supper 
with me. I'll tell you all about 
everything. Glad to. There aren't 
many who want to know about 
things any more." 

Her apartment was neat and 
clean. It was hard for Mark to con- 
nect it with an old woman shriek- 
ing points at him. "My name's 
Pearl. Point-Plus-Pearlie, they call 
me. But my real name's Penelope. 
You can call me Penelope." 

"Thank you," Mark said grave- 
ly, and sat down. Penelope bustled 
into- an apron and began pulling 
packages from the freezer. "We'll 
have a feed, you and I — a real 
feed." She chuckled pleasantly. 
"After all, you're paying for it." 

MARK squirmed uncomfort- 

"I'll tell you how all this started," 
Penelope said, popping open a can 
of high-content protein. "Back be- 
fore you were bom there were in- 
surance companies. At first they 
were started to insure your life, 

"Your life!" Mark frowned. 

"Never mind. Also, they insured 
you against loss by fire. Then it was 
loss by collision of vehicles — you've 
never seen an auto, of course — and 
so on. Finally they got to insuring 
you against hurting yourself when 
you slipped on a cake of soap in the 
bathtub, and then they insured 
against a suit for damages by some- 
one who might stub his toe and fall 
down and break a leg on your side- 



walk. Follow me?" 

"I think so," said Mark doubt- 

"Well, there were all kinds of 
lawsuits. Two men would be in an 
accident. Both hurt. Their insur- 
ance companies would sue each 
other. Suppose A knocked over a 
ladder and B fell down on top of 
him. B's fall broke A's arm and it 
broke his own leg. A could sue B 
for breaking his arm. B could sue 
A for making him fall. Well, sup- 
pose A was insured by company X, 
and B was insured by company 
Y. A and B filed claims against each 
other's companies, and everybody 
went to court." 

"You mean they didn't agree on 
damages?" Mark asked incredu- 

"Exactly." Penelope cut off the 
top of a bottle of enzymes. "It was 
pretty dumb. But pretty soon the 
companies got wise. They formed 
working agreements. 

"When two companies carried 
insurance on two persons involved 
in an accident, the companies just 
presented their claims to each 
other, and the one with the biggest 
claim against him paid the differ- 
ence, while each company paid off 
the claim of the one it represented. 
You can see what eventually hap- 

She punched a button and a 
dinette table popped out of the 

"Companies insured people for 
more and more types of damage, 
even against being insulted or 
against a claim for damages for be- 
ing insulted. The big companies 
eliminated the small ones, and it 

was just a matter of bookkeeping 
among those that were left. Even- 
tually the government took it over." 

"But look," said Mark, "I don't 

"Don't rush me." Penelope put 
a can into the container-dissolver 
and punched the button that set 
out the plates and silverware on the 
tiny table. "You see, pretty soon 
everybody was insured for every- 
thing possible. People were collect- 
ing right and left, mostly small 
amounts but lots of them. But it 
took quite a bit of time to file 
claims and so on. And also, a man 
spent all he made buying insurance 
to protect himself. It was a wicked 
circle. Nobody could quit buying 
insurance and nobody dared quit 
filing claims. That's when the gov- 
ernment took over. They simplified 
things. Once a day you turn yoiu: 
slips into Central and the Machine 
audits your account. That's all 
there is to it." 

"But there's nothing else to do," 
Mark objected. "No entertainment, 
no work." 

"Why should there be entertain- 
ment? Entertainment means work 
for somebody. No, Central — ^which 
is the government, of course — has 
eliminated work for everybody and 
at the same time has provided 
something to keep everybody busy. 
What work must be done is done by 
automatic, self-lubricating, self-re- 
pairing, self-renewing machinery." 
She sighed. "It's a brave new world. 
Everything is neatly worked out. 
Everybody spends all their time 
gathering points to offset the points 
they lose gathering points — and no- 
body seems to mind except a few 



rebels like you and me. I saw that 
rebellious look in your eyes when 
you signed my slip. That's why I 
invited you to come along with me. 
But, as I said, Central keeps every- 
body busy all day and half the 
night trying to balance themselves. 
There's no labor problem, no un- 
employment, no relief, no worry 
about anything." She paused, to dip 
the vitamins out of the dissolver. 
"The only catch is — it's so damned 

Mark blinked, but Penelope 
whirled on him, the dissolver in 
one hand. "Why do you think I sit 
out there and put on my act all day 
long? Not to get points, though I 
confess the points are the measure 
of my success — but because life is 
too dull otherwise." She dished out 
the vitamins. 

"You say the government did all 


A thought struck Mark. "Who is 
the government?" 

Penelope was filling glasses from 
the ice-water faucet. She turned her 
head and stared at him like a 
bright-eyed bird. "To tell you the 
truth, Mark, as far as I know the 
men who used to make up the gov- 
ernment disappeared after the last 
war, about the time all this auto- 
matic machinery was put in. We 
used to have an election every so 
often, but I haven't heard that 
word for twenty-five years. Do you 
know what I think?" 

"No," Mark said attentively. 

"I don't think there is any more 
government!" Penelope said dra- 
matically. "I think all that's left 
are the Machine and Central Audit 

Bureau — ^which is nothing but a 
giant posting machine." 

"Have you seen it — Central, I 
mean? I see the concourse where 
we line up every day to have our 
cards posted — but what's behind 
those twelve hundred windows?" 

SHE NODDED briskly. "I saw 
it from one of the last planes. 
Central covers miles and nailes in 
both directions. They said then it 
was the biggest machine on earth— 
and do you know, Mark" — she 
paused dramatically — "I think the 
Machine is the government! Roll 
up your chair, Mark." 

Mark did. "But doesn't there 
have to be somebody to take care 
of the Machine?" he asked, holding 
her chair. 

"Not that I know of. They said it 
was perfect — that barring an earth- 
quake it would run for a thousand 
years without a himian hand." 

The iron-juice cocktail was 
pretty good, the way Penelope had 
flavored it with enzymes. But Mark 
inevitably got back to the thing 
that worried him. "What will hap- 
pen when that release slip of mine 
goes through for thirty-five thou- 
sand points?" 

Penelope raised her white eye- 
brows. "I don't know, but undoubt- 
edly something drastic. I'll tell 
you what. I'll hold your slip for a 
while and you go out and see if you 
can get some points on your credit 
side. Stir up a little trouble. Get the 
points first and argue after." . . . 

Mark went out and tried to get 
some points next day, but he 
couldn't seem to get Jus heart in 



his work. It was all so pointless. 
Why couldn't the old lady give him 
back that slip, anyway? Mark got 
pretty much in the dumps, and 
after he managed to get his foot 
stepped on and demanded three 
hundred points, only to be coun- 
tered by a claim of four hundred 
for hurting the other man's instep, 
he began to feel very low indeed. 

At the end of the week he was 
walking slowly along the street 
watching for Conley, because he 
was getting further in the red every 
day, when he saw a foot stuck out 
in his way and heard a voice say, 
"Don't you stumble over my lame 
foot," and he looked up and saw 
the old lady. Her black eyes were 
soft. "You don't look happy, 

"No." He held out his card. 

"Hm." Her keen old eyes shot 
back to his. "Thirty-two hundred 
in the red. That's more than be- 
fore. You've lost two hundred 
points this week, Mark." 

"I know," he said dully. 

"Here. Push me, Mark." She 
pulled the shawl around her and 
Mark started pushing the wheel- 
chair. "You're a nice boy," she said 
when they reached a quiet street. 
"You just can't adjust yourself to 
this modern world." 

"I want a job," Mark said stub- 
bornly. "Something to do besides — 
well, some kind of mark to aim at, 
I guess. This point business is just 
putting in time. I'm not creating 
anything. Even if I could fasten 
zippers on feather-beds, I'd be do- 
ing something worth while, because 
it'd be used. But this way of living 
is like digging a hole and then fill- 

ing it in again. Why, you don't even 
dare to get into a fight. Somebody 
would collect a thousand points 
every time you hit him. The stand- 
ard price of a black eye is three 
thousand. You have to be pretty 
careful about things like that. Arid 
there's always Conley." 

"Well," Penelope said, "I'm go- 
ing to make you a proposition. I'll 
hold up your slip for sixty days, and 
in the meantime I'll teach you how 
to get ahead of the game. I'll teach 
you the tricks of the trade, just as 
old Point-a-Minute Charlie taught 
me. They say he averaged a point 
a minute all his life." 

"Where is he now?" asked Mark, 

The old lady pondered. "Come 
to think of it, I don't know. I re- 
member the last time I talked to 
him his credit balance was 98,000." 
She frowned at the tremendous, 
low-lying dome that covered the 
horizon in the distance and marked 
Central Audit Bureau. "I haven't 
seen him since then." 

"Hm," said Mark. 

"Well, now," Penelope said 
briskly. "I'll make you a regular 
business deal. I'll teach you, and 
for all you get, you give me twenty 
per cent. See how many you can 
get. Try for ten thousand. That'll 
give you something to shoot at." 

"Maybe I can beat the Ma- 
chine," Mark said eagerly. 

Penelope swallowed. "They say 
you can't beat the Machine. But I 
guess it won't hurt to try." 

Mark did well. At first he just 
walked down the street stopping 
people as fast as he could get to 
them. "You didn't recognize me. 



sir," he would say indignantly. "I 
met you at Central concourse two 
years ago. Remember? You stood 
right in front of me in line for three 
hours, and we talked about our 
new suits. Remember? My feelings 
are injured because you ignored me 
just now. Fifty points. Will you 
sign my slip, please?" 

His credit reached the black the 
first week. He was netting five hun- 
dred points a day, and it was fun, 
but Penelope said, "We'll go for 
bigger stakes. This is kindergarten 
stuff. Now here's the way you 
start. . ." 

SO THE next morning Mark 
managed to get himself 
knocked down four times, and each 
time he came up with a skinned 
knee and collected from five hun- 
dred to eight hundred and fifty 
points. He was learning, Penelope 
assured him when he gleefully 
showed her his card at the end of 
the day. Mark was elated. That day 
he had gathered fifty-one hundred 

"But this can get monotonous, 
too," Penelope said. "Anyway, you 
can't go around forever with a 
sandpapered knee. You're learning 
fast, and you're learning right. Old 
Point-a-Minute Charlie was the 
best there was, in his day, and_ he 
always said you make more points 
guessing character than you do 
falling down. Know your victim 
before you have an accident, and 
then hit him for all he will pay and 
hit him quick — the way I did you." 
She chuckled. "My commission for 
today is one thousand and twenty 

points. Here, sign my slip, please." 

Mark signed. It was a cheap 
price to pay for the fact that life 
was no longer pointless. He decided 
he'd try to gather a credit of one 
hundred thousand points. 

He worked on bigger stuff. He 
didn't try just everybody. He picked 
his signers with care. He slept until 
nine every morning and he and 
Penelope played two-handed bridge 
at a tenth of a point a point until 
midnight. He felt sorry for the 
poor suckers who had to get out at 
sunup and tread the sidewalks un- 
til dark to get enough points to 
satisfy Central. They were working 
like slaves, while he was living the 
life of Point-a-Minute Charlie. 

It was a lovely existence. He for- 
got about Penelope's slip for thirty- 
five thousand. He could almost pay 
it off anyway. Then came the day 
when he pulled his grand coup. 

He spent a week planning it, 
with Penelope's shrewd advice. He 
remembered what she had said 
about the man on the ladder in the 
nineteen-forties. He sandpapered 
his back and painted an irregular 
spot with merthiolate and iodine, 
and practiced twisting his back un- 
til it looked out of shape. Then he 
went out and watched for an ab- 
sent-minded, nervous, excitable- 
looking man to try his next effort 

Penelope's biggest advice was, 
"Preparation is half the points," so 
it was three days before Mark 
found the right person. After he 
found him it was very simple. He 
signaled Penelope to fallow, and 
then he walked behind the man 
until they came to a high curb. 



Mark moved out to the left. The 
man started to step up on the curb. 
Mark darted across in front of the 
man just as the man raised his foot. 
Mark managed to stumble exactly 
in front of the man. His arms went 
out and one hand caught the little 
man's leg. The little man fell 
squarely on top of him, assisted by 
a slight push from Penelope. 

Mark groaned heart-breakingly. 
In a moment there was a crowd. 
The little man was getting up, be- 
wildered, and automatically trying 
to dust off his type K suit. Mark lay 
half on the curb, half off, squirm- 
ing like a broken-back snake. "My 
back," he moaned piteously. "Oh, 
my back." 

The little man seemed paralyzed 
at the enormity of the thing he had 
done. He stared at Mark and Mark 
squirmed harder and moaned loud- 
er. Then Penelope hobbled up 
and pulled Mark's shirttail out of 
his trousers. The iodine spot on his 
back looked yellow and purple, and 
there were gasps from the crowd. 

"He did it!" Mark said, glaring 
accusingly at the little man. "He 
tripped me. He tripped me and 
broke my back!" 

Penelope was putting on a good 
act too, crying and wringing her 
hands and moaning. "My poor 
boy!" she said, over and over. A 
woman in the crowd came up and 
made a very expressive raspberry 
in the little man's face. The little 
man was not only bewildered; he 
was frightened. Mark adjudged the 
time had come. 

"Points for my broken back!" he 
cried. Penelope held out a slip to 
the little man. He signed it dazedly, 

then he slipped out of the crowd, 
while three men picked up Mark 
and laid him tenderly in Penelope's 
reclining wheel-chair. 

Mark could hardly contain him- 
self. As soon as they were safely out 
of sight he said excitedly, "Let me 
see the slip." 

Penelope looked around. She 
kept pushing him but she handed 
over the slip. 

"Fifty thousand points!" Mark 
read under his breath. "Isn't that 
wonderful!" He couldn't remember 
ever having felt so elated in his Ufe. 

Penelope was shaking her head 
wonderingly. "That was a good 
act," she said. "I'd never have had 
the nerve to try that myself." 

"Oh, that's nothing." Mark was 
enthusiastic. "As soon as I get fitted 
up with a magnelite brace so it'll 
look good, I'm going to knock a 
piece out of that curbing, and then 
if I can find out who's the regis- 
tered owner of it I'll hit him for 
twenty-five thousand." 

MARK GOT the twenty-five 
thousand. The owner of the 
sidewalk was finally convinced 
that Mark's broken back was worth 
a lot. From then on there was no 
holding Mark. Pretending to act 
for the little man who had orig- 
inally knocked him down, he lo- 
cated the woman who had made a 
raspberry in the little man's face 
and collected another two thou- 
sand; the woman didn't recognize 
Mark, because Mark's features 
were changed a little. 

Then Mark spotted two others 
who had made threatening noises 



and collected five hundred from 
each, and from another who ex- 
pressed doubt that he was really 
hurt, Mark got a thousand points. 
There was nothing to it, really. 
Most people had regular beats, and 
all Mark had to do was sit at one 
side in Penelope's wheel-chair and 
wait for them to come by. He 
would have collected more if he 
could have remembered more faces. 
He saw Conley go by once a day 
but now he wasn't afraid. He 
thought Conley looked at him dis- 

A couple of weeks later he got 
his card back from the Machine at 
Central and looked at it with great 
satisfaction. He had a hundred and 
thirteen thousand points to his 
credit. He met Penelope and they 
went to her apartment for dinner. 
Jubilantly Mark got all the fancy 
food — even some synthetic meat — 
that he could get on his card, and 
they prepared for a feast. 

"The only thing is," Penelope 
said as she punched the dishes on 
the table, "I'm scared. I have a 
feeling you shouldn't have gone 
over a hundred thousand." 

"Is that why you never cashed 
my slip for thirty-five thousand?" 

She nodded. "That's mostly the 
reason. My balance is over eighty 
thousand and I was afraid." 

"Afraid of what?" 

"I don't know. Just afraid." 

"Well," said Mark, "I'm not. I 
don't see what Central can do to 
a person for getting points. There's 
no rule against it." 

"It's dangerous," Penelope in- 

"Nevertheless, I have made a de- 

cision. A hundred thousand points 
— that's nothing." His head was 
high. "I'm going after a million 

Penelope gasped. "Mark, you 
mustn't do anything like that. Yon 
have no use for a million points." 

"No," Mark said complacently, 
"but it's a lot of fun getting them. 
And it gives me something worth 
while to do. We'll sit up till three 
o'clock every morning and play 
bridge, and I'll stay in bed till noon, 
and dream up new stunts. I'll pull 
one a week. Life is going to be 
worth living." 

The announcing light showed at 
the door. Penelope pressed the ad- 
mittance button. A tall, thin man 
came in a moment later. "Mark 
Renner?" he asked. 

Mark jumped. "Conley!" Mark's 
stomach had a funny feeling in it. 

"They told me I would find you 
here," Conley said. 

Penelope had recovered enough 
to gasp. "What do you want?" 

"I'm from Central Audit Bu- 

"That's just lovely," Penelope 
said, "but it doesn't mean anything 
to us but a place where we get our 
cards balanced." 

"It should mean something to 
you," Conley said hollowly. "Cen- 
tral is the government." 

Penelope stared at him. "Sit 
down, please. I thought Central 
was just a machine." 

"It is something more than a ma- 
chine. There is a small corps of 
persons who live inside the machine 
to service it and occasionally adjust 
it, and those persons really are the 
government — that is, all the gov- 



ernment we have." He sat down 
stiffly, his back straight. "Now then, 
Mr. Renner, your card today 
showed a credit balance of a hun- 
dred and thirteen thousand points. 
Is that correct?" 

Mark swallowed. "Yes." He 
looked at Penelope. She was pale. 
With difficulty Mark asked, "Is it 
your job to cheek up on people, to 
see if they are entitled to their 

"Oh, my, no. Central doesn't 
care about that. In fact. Central 
doesn't care how much anybody's 
debit is. We figure as long as a 
man is in debt he'll try to pay it 
off. They always do, at least. No, 
we never bother with debits, and 
I don't suppose we ever would." 

Mark breathed a sigh of relief. 

"But a credit of over a hundred 
thousand is something else," said 
Conley. "The machines won't han- 
dle six figures without trouble, you 
see, so there has to be a penalty," 
He looked very sad. "Now, then, I 
shall have to — " 

"Wait!" cried Penelope. "His 
credit is a himdred and thirteen 
thousand — but I have his slip for 
thirty-five thousand. If I turn it in, 
that would fix it up for him, 
wouldn't it." 

Mark felt a warm wave of grati- 
tude toward Penelope. She was a 
million per cent; no question about 

"Well — ^yes, I suppose so. We 
don't like these last-minute adjust- 
ments, but I suppose — " 

I HE CAME waving the slip and 
I thrust it into Conley's face. 

"There!" she said triumphant- 
ly. "Put that on my account." 

Conley looked a little sad. "This 
is your slip?" he asked Mark. 

Mark nodded gratefully. 

"Let me have your credit card, 
Miss Penelope. Now, then, I'll 
transfer these points — ^hm." Con- 
ley's eyebrows raised. "Do you 
know what your balance is now. 
Miss Penelope?" 

Penelope's mouth shot open and 
she popped her hand across it. 

"You have now a hundred and 
twenty-two thousand," Conley said. 
He got up from his chair. "Well, 
I'm sorry, folks. That's the way it 

Mark gulped. "What way?" 

"Miss Penelope will have to 
come with me." 

Mark was on his feet. "If she 
goes, I go," he said dramatically. 

Conley looked at him. "If you 
feel that way about it, there won't 
be any trouble at all. You did go 
over, so I can take you in too." 

"In where?" Penelope de- 

"A certain number of persons is 
required to keep Central going, as 
I said — actually to be the govern- 
ment. But most of the population 
today is so apathetic they wouldn't 
be of any use at all, so years ago 
some of us who were in Central got 
an idea. We discovered that when- 
ever any citizen rebels against the 
monotony of life today, he or she 
eventually winds up trying to 
gather a lot of points, because that 
is the only outlet for energy and 
ambition. That is the kind of person 
we need, so when anybody gets over 
a hundred thousand, the machine 



warns us. We go after them." Con- 
ley picked up his type N hat. 
"Well, see you in the morning. 
Punch in your cards at window 
1000. We'll do the rest. And by the 
way — " He was at the door. "We 
start work at eight o'clock." 

Mark brightened. "Did you say 

"Oh, it's only four hours a day, 
five days a week. The rest of the 
time is your own, only of course 
you can't come Outside. It would 
upset things if the general public 
learned about us. Yes, it's a regular 
job; not hard work, but steady 
work. Gives you something to aim 
for; there are promotions, you 
know, and extra bonuses for those 
who show promise." 

"Work!" Mark said. "Steady 
work? You mean there'll be some- 
diing to do all the time?" 

"Five days a week," said Conley. 

Mark said, "This is so sudden. 
Why don't you sit down a minute 
while we let it soak in? We have 
plenty of enzymes and stuff for a 
guest, don't we. Miss Penelope? 
Why not stay for supper, Conley?" 

"No, thanks," said Conley. "We 
have beefsteak and hot biscuits for 
supper in Central." 

Penelope shrieked with joy. 

Mark was puzzled. "What's 

"It's an old-fashioned food," 
said Conley. "Rather tasty top." 

"Please sit down," Penelope 
begged, "and tell us more." 

Conley looked at his watch. "Be- 
lieve I will. My feet get a little tired 
all day from pounding the pave- 
ment. But there isn't much more to 

tell. You'll find out everything to- 
morrow. And I'm sure you'll like 
it. We try to give each person work 
to challenge him." 

"What if a person wouldn't want 
to go to Central?" 

"Very few ever object. Once in a 
while they are afraid and run away, 
but we just register their number 
with all the machines, and when- 
ever that number is presented for 
food or clothes, the machines reject 
the card." He paused. "A very neat 
arrangement. Of course, inside of 
Central the point system as you 
know it now will be of no value 
whatever. We use money in Cen- 

Penelope had a can of synthetic 
meat in her hands. "Beef!" she said 
suddenly, and hurled the can into 
the disintichute. "I'm going to 
starve all night so I can enjoy eat- 
ing tomorrow." 

"So nobody ever gets away?" 
asked Mark. 

"Very seldom, though there's one 
fellow playing a game with Central. 
He must have gotten wind of us, 
and he keeps careful check on his 
points. About once every three 
months he starts going strong. He'll 
be putting in eight or ten thousand 
points a day. Then his balance will 
shoot up over a hundred thousand 
and I'll go after him, but he's al- 
ways just signed away a lot of 
points. Would you believe it, the 
last time he had given away fifty 
thousand points to a fellow who 
claimed a broken back. He said he 
knew it was a phony, but he had 
me there and he laughed at me, for 
he had signed away the points. The 
slip showed up next day." 



Mark looked at Penelope and 
grinned. "We should have known 
that nobody in his right mind 
would give away fifty thousand 

Conley raised his hand in a sa- 
lute. "See you tomorrow at Cen- 
tral. If they don't keep you busy, 
look me up." 

Mark watched him leave. Then 
he looked beamingly at Penelope. 
"Work! Every day! Eight o'clock! 
We'll have to get up before break- 
fast! Isn't it wonderful?" 

But Penelope's bird-like eyes 
were bright. "He said there would 
be promotions and bonuses for 
those who show promise," she re- 
called. "I wish we had known that. 
We could have made a cleanup and 
gone into Central with a record 
that would make their eyes pop out. 

Anyhow" — sh« dug her pad of re- 
lease blanks out of her pocket and 
began to figure on the back. "Let's 
see, fifty thousand from the little 
man who's playing a game with 
Central, twenty-five from the own- 
er of the sidewalk, two thousand for 
the raspberry, five hundred each 
from two who made noises of dis- 
respect, and a thousand from the 
man who doubted that your back 
was really broken. You could have 
collected two thousand from that 
last one," she said absently, "if you 
hadn't got cold feet. Anyway, 
that's seventy-nine thousand points. 
Now, then, twenty per cent of that 
is fifteen thousand, eight hundred 

She wrote rapidly and held out 
the pad to Mark. "Sign my slip, 


Coming in the January Issue! 

Oheok and Cheokfliate 


A BRILLIANT new novelette, by an ace writer, that reveals a 
startling situation in which lowly subterfuge is mightier than 
the atom — and we of the western world arc the stooges! . . . 
Also in this issue are such outstanding science fiction adventures 
as Rog Phillips' new short novel entitled YE OF LITTLE 
FAITH; Alfred Coppel's swashbuckling THE PEACEMAKER; 
Robert Turner's SUCCESS STORY that hits you between the 
eyes; Frank Coggins' ironic SAY "HELLO" FOR ME; plus 
other exciting stories and features. 


With skill of long practice, 
they brought the robot down. 

No matter what the future, one factor must 
always be reckoned with — the ingenuity 
of the human animal. 

Let There Be Light 

By Horace B. Fyfe 

THE TWO men attacked the 
thick tree trunk with a weary 
savagery. In the bright sunlight, 
glistening spatters of sweat flew 
from them as the old axes bit alter- 
nately into the wood. 

Blackie stood nearby, on the 
gravel shoulder of the highway, 
rubbing his short beard as he con- 
sidered the depth of the white 
notch. Turning his broad, tanned 
face to glance along the patched 
and cracked concrete to where 
squat Vito kept watch, he caught 
the latter's eye and beckoned. 

"Okay, Sid— Mike. We'll take it 
a while." 

The rhythm of the axe-strokes 

ceased. Red Mike swept the back 
of a forearm across the semi-shaven 
stubble that set him as something 
of a dandy. Wordlessly, big Sid 
ambled up the road to replace Vito. 

"Pretty soon, now," boasted 
Mike, eyeing the cut with satisfac- 
tion. "Think it'll bring them?" 

"Sure," replied Blackie, spitting 
on his hands and lifting one of the 
worn tools. "That's what they're 

"Funny," mused Mike, "how 
some keep going an' others bust. 
These musta been workin' since I 
was a little kid — since before the 
last bUtz." 

"Aw, they don't hafta do much. 




'Cept in winter when they come out 
to clear snow, all they do is put in 
a patch now an' then." 

Mike stared moodily at the 
weathered surface of the highway 
and edged back to avoid the re- 
flected heat. 

"It beats me how they know a 
spot has cracked." 

"I guess there's machines to run 
the machines," sighed Blackie. "I 
dunno; I was too young. Okay, 

The relieving pair fell to. Mike 
stepped out of range of the flying 
chips to sit at the edge of the soft 
grass which was attempting another 
invasion of the gravel shoulder. 
Propelled by the strength of Vito's 
powerful torso, a single chip spun 
through the air to his feet. He 
picked it up and held it to his nose. 
It had a good, clean smell. 

When at length the tree crashed 
down across the road, Blackie led 
them to the ambush he had chosen 
that morning. It was fifty yards up 
the road toward the ruined city — 
off to the side where a clump of 
trees and bushes provided shade 
and concealment. 

"Wish we brought something to 
eat." Vito said. 

"Didn't know it would take so 
long to creep up on 'em this morn- 
ing," said Blackie. "The women'U 
have somethin' when we get back." 

"They better," said Mike. 

He measured a slender branch 
with his eye. After a moment, he 
pulled out a hunting knife, worn 
thin by years of sharpening, and cut 
off a straight section of the branch. 
He began whittling. 

"You damn' fool!" Sid objected. 

"You want the busted spot on the 
tree to show?" 

"Aw, they ain't got the brains to 

"The hell they ain't! It stands 
out like one o' them old street signs. 
D'ya think they can tell, Blackie?" 

"I dunno. Maybe." Blackie rose 
cautiously to peer over a bed of 
blackberry bushes. "Guess I'll skin 
up a tree an' see if anything's in 

He hitched up his pants, looking 
for an easy place to climb. His blue 
denims had been stoutly made, but 
weakened by many rips and 
patches, and he did not want to rip 
them on a snag. It was becoming 
difficult to find good, unrotted 
clothing in the old ruins. 

CHOOSING a branch slightly 
over his head, he sprang for 
it, pulled, kicked against the trunk, 
and flowed up into the foliage with 
no apparent effort. The others 
waited below. Sid glanced up occa- 
sionally, Vito idly kicked at one of 
the clubs made from an old two-by- 

The other lay beneath the piled 
jackets; but enough of the end 
protruded to show that they had 
been chopped from the same tim- 
ber, gray-painted on one side, 
stained and gouged on the other 
where boards had once been nailed. 
A coil of rope lay beside the axes. 

High in the upper branches, 
Blackie braced himself with negli- 
gent confidence and stared along 
the concrete ribbon. 

From here, he thought, you'd al- 
most think the place was still alive, 



instead of crumbling around our 

The windows of the distant 
houses were dark, unglassed holes,- 
but the sunlight made the masonry 
clean and shining. To Blackie, the 
ragged tops of most of the buildings 
were as natural as the tattered look 
of the few people he knew. Beyond, 
toward the center of the city, was 
real evidence of his race's bygone 
might — a vast jumble of shattered 
stone and fused metal. Queer weeds 
and mosses infected the area, but it 
would be centuries before they 
could mask the desolation. 

Better covered, were the heaps 
along the road, seemingly shoved 
just beyond the gravel shoulders — 
mouldering mounds which legend 
said were once machines to ride in 
along the pavement. 

Something glinted at the bend of 
the highway. Blackie peered closer. 

He swarmed down the tree from 
branch to branch, so lithely that the 
trio below hardly had the warning 
of the vibrating leaves before he 
dropped, cat-footed, among them. 

"They're comin'!" 

He shrugged quickly into his 
stained jacket, emulated in silent 
haste by the others. Vito rubbed his 
hands down the hairy chest left re- 
vealed by his open jacket and 
hefted one of the clubs. In his broad 
paws, it seemed light. 

They were quiet, watching Sid 
peer out through narrowly parted 
brush of the undergrowth. Blackie 
fidgeted behind him. Finally, he 
reached out as if to pull the other 
aside, but at that moment Sid re- 
leased the bushes and crouched. 

The others, catching his warning 

glance, fell prone, peoiing through 
shrubbery and around tree trunks 
with savage eyes. 

The distant squawk of a jay be- 
came suddenly very dear, as did 
the sighing of a faint bi ic/.e through 
the leaves overhead. Then a new, 
clanking, humming sound intruded. 

A procession of three vehicles 
rolled along the highway at an 
unvarying pace which took no ac- 
count of patches or worn spots. 
They jounced in turn across a patch 
laid over a previous, unsuccessful 
patch, and halted before the felled 
tree. Two were bulldozers ; the third 
was a light truck with compart- 
ments for tools. No human figures 
were visible. 

A moment later, the working 
force appeared — a column of eight 
robots. These deployed as they 
reached the obstacle, and explored 
like colossal ants along its length. 

"What're they after?" asked 
Mike, whispering although he lay 
fifty yards away. 

"They're lookin' over the job for 
whatever sends them out," Blackie 
whispered back. "See those little 
lights stickin' out the tops o' their 
heads? I heard tell, once, that's how 
they're run." 

Some of the robots took saws 
from the truck and began to cut 
through the tree trunk. Others pro- 
duced cables and huge hooks to at- 
tach the obstacle to the bulldozers, 

"Look at 'em go!" sighed Sid, 
hunching his stiff shoulders jeal- 
ously. "Took us hours, an' they're 
half done already." 

They watched as the robots pre- 
cisely severed the part of the tree 
that blocked the highway, going 



not one inch beyond the gravel 
shoulder, and helped the bulldozers 
to tug it aside. On the opposite side 
of the concrete, the shoulder 
tapered off into a six-foot drop. 
The log was jockeyed around 
parallel to this ditch and rolled into 
it, amid a thrashing of branches 
and a spurting of small pebbles. 

"Glad we're on the high side," 
whispered Mike. "That thing 'ud 
squash a guy's guts right out!" 

"Keep listenin' to me," Blackie 
said, "an' you'll keep on bein' in 
the right place at the right time." 

Mike raised his eyebrows at Vito, 
who thrust out his lower lip and 
nodded sagely. Sid grinned, but no 
one contradicted the boast. 

"They're linin' up," Blackie 
warned tensely. "You guys ready? 
Where's that rope?" 

Someone thrust it into his hands. 
Still squinting at the scene on the 
highway, he fumbled for the ends 
and held one out to Mike. The 
others gripped their clubs. 

"Now, remember!" ordered 
Blackie. "Me an' Mike will trip up 
the last one in line. You two get in 
there quick an' wallop him over the 
head — but good!" 

"Don't go away while we're doin' 
it," said big Sid. "They won't chase 
ya, but they look out fer them- 
selves. I d.on't wanna get tossed 
twenty feet again!" 

The eyes of the others flicked 
toward the jagged white scar run- 
ning down behind Sid's right ear 
and under the collar of his jacket. 
Then they swung back to the road. 

"Good!" breathed Blackie. "The 
rollin' stuff's goin' first." 

The truck and bulldozers set out 

toward the city, with the column 
of robots marching a fair distance 
behind. The latter approached the 
ambush — drew abreast — ^began to 

Blackie raised himself to a crouch 
with just the tips of his fingers 
steadying him. 

AS THE last robot plodded by, 
he surged out of the brush, 
joined to Red Mike by their grips 
on the twenty feet of rope. They 
ran up behind the marching ma- 
chine, trailed by the others. 

In his right hand, Blackie twirled 
the part of the rope hanging be- 
tween him and Mike. On the sec- 
ond swing, he got it over the head 
of the robot. He saw Mike brace 

The robot staggered. It pivoted 
clumsily to its left, groping vaguely 
for the hindrance. Mike and 
Blackie tugged again, and the ma- 
chine wound up facing them in its 
efforts to maintain balance. Its 
companions marched steadily along 
the road. 

"Switch ends!" barked Blackie. 

Alert, Mike tossed him the other 
end of the rope and caught 
Blackie's. They ran past the robot 
on either side, looping it in. Blackie 
kept going until he was above the 
ditch. He wound a turn of rope 
about his forearm and plunged 
down the bank. 

A shower of gravel spattered 
after him as Mike jammed his heels 
into the shoulder of the highway 
to anchor the other end. Then he 
heard the booming sound of the 
robot's fall. 



Blackie clawed his way up the 
bank. Vito and Sid were smashing 
furiously at the floundering ma- 
chine. Mike danced about the 
melee with bared teeth, charging 
in once as if to leap upon the 
quarry with both feet. Frustrated 
by the peril of the whirling two-by- 
fours,- he swept up handfuls of 
gravel to hurl. 

Blackie turned to run for one of 
the axes. Just then, Sid struck home 
to the head of the robot. 

Sparks spat out amid a tinkle of 
glass. The machine ceased all mo- 

"All right!" panted Blackie. "AU 
right! That's enough!" 

They stepped back, snarls fading. 
A handful of gravel trickled 
through Mike's fingers and pattered 
loudly on the concrete. Gradually, 
the men began to straighten up, see- 
ing the robot as an inert heap of 
metal rather than as a weird beast 
in its death throes. 

"We better load up an' get," said 
Blackie. "We wanna be over on the 
trail if they send somethin' up the 
road to look for this." 

Vito dragged the robot off the 
highway by the head, and they be- 
gan the of lashing it to the two- 

It was about two hours later 
when they plodded around a street 
corner among the ruins and 
stopped before a fairly intact build- 
ing. By that time, they had picked 
up an escort of dirty, half -clad chil- 
dren who ran ahead to spread the 

Two other men and a handful of 
women gathered around with eager 
exclamations. The hunters dropped 

their catch. 

"Better get to work on him," said 
Blackie, glancing at the sky. "Be 
dark soon." 

The men who had remained as 
guards ran inside the entrance of 
polished granite and brought out 
tools : hammers, crowbars, hatchets. 
Behind them hurried women with 
basins and large cans. The original 
four, weary from the weight of the 
robot despite frequent pauses on 
the trail, stepped back. 

"Where first, Blackie?" asked 
one of the men, waiting for the 
women to untsingle the rope and 

"Try all the joints. After that, 
we'll crack him open down the 
middle for the main supply tank." 

He watched the metal give way 
under the blows. As the robot was 
dismembered, the fluid that had 
lubricated the complex mechanism 
flowed from its wounds and was 
poured by the women into a five- 
gallon can. 

"Bring a cupful, Judy," Blackie 
told his woman, a wiry blond girl. 
"I wanna see if it's as good as the 

He lit a stick at the fire as they 
crossed the littered, once-ornate 
lobby, and she followed him down 
a dini hall. He pulled aside the skins 
that covered their doorway, then 
stumbled his way to the table. The 
window was still uncovered against 
the night chill, but it looked out on 
a courtyard shadowed by towering 
walls. To eyes adjusted to the sunny 
street, the room was dark. 

Judy poured the oil into the 
makeshift lamp, waited for the rag 
(Continued on page 117) 

The fleet came in at jour o'clock. 

With no one to help him, it seemed the 
General was lost. But the enemy was soon 
to discover that — 


By M. C. Pease 

DID IT go weU?" the aide 

The admiral, affectionately 
known as the Old Man, did not re- 
ply until he'd closed the door, 
crossed the room, and dropped into 
the chair at his desk. Then he said: 

"Go well? It did not go at all. 
Every blasted one of them, from the 
President on down, can think of 
nothing but the way the Combine 
over-ran Venus. When I mention 
P-boats, they shout that the Venu- 
sians depended on P-boats, too, and 
got smashed by the Combine's 
dreadnoughts in one battle. 'You 
can't argue with it, man,' they tell 
me. And they won't listen." 


"But the Venusians fought their 
P-ships idiotically," the aide com- 
plained. "It was just plain silly to 
let small, light, fast ships slug it out 
with dreadnoughts. If they had 
used Plan K— " 

The Old Man snorted. 

"Are you trying to convince me? 
I've staked my whole reputation on 
Plan K. They wouldn't give me the 
money to build a balanced space- 
fleet, even when the fleets of the 
Combine of Jupiterian Satellite 
States were staring them in the 
face. So, I took what I could get 
and poured it into P-boats. I threw 
all our engineering and scientific 
staff into making them faster and 



more maneuverable than anyone 
ever thought a space-ship could be. 
I got them to build me electronic 
computers that could direct that 
speed. And, two years ago, every 
cent I could lay my hands on went 
to install the computers on all our 

"I remember," the aide said. 

"But, now the chips are down, 
the people have funked out on me. 
I am one of the most hated men in 
the Federation. They say I de- 
stroyed their Navy. And, we are not 
going to get a chance to try Plan K. 
They decided, today, to accept the 
Combine's offer to send envoys in 
a month to discuss possible revision 
of the Treaty of Porran. When I 
left, they were wondering if there 
was any chance of getting out for 
less than Base Q." 

"But, good lord, sir, Base Q sup- 
plies nine tenths of all our power. 
The Combine will have a strangle 
hold on us, if they get that." 

"Quite. But the people will give 
it to them, rather than fight. And 
the President will sign." 

"Surely, sir, the people are not 
all cowards?" 

"No. If they had time to think, 
they would fight. That's why the 
Combine is striking now. The peo- 
ple are panicky. Hysterical. The 
collapse of Venus was so sudden, 
and the disaster to their P-boats so 
complete. They've just lost hope. 
Most people would rather live un- 
der a dictator than die to no pur- 
pose. They've just lost hope." 

The pounding of the Old Man's 
fist measured his words and the 
depth of his anger. 

"li We could only make them 

hope. Somehow. Anyhow." 

Suddenly, his clenched fist 
stopped in mid-air. He frowned. 
Slowly, his hand opened. The frown 
relaxed and a smile replaced it. 

"Maybe we can, at that. Maybe 
we can." He leaned back with his 
eyes half closed. His aide knew bet- 
ter than to interrupt him. Ten min- 
utes later, he opened his eyes. 

"Make arrangements to have 
Commander Morgan take com- 
mand of Base Q as soon as possible. 
Within two days at the outside." 
His manner was curt and clipped. 
"And bring him here to me before 
he leaves." 

"Yes, sir. But may I say, sir, I do 
not understand?" 

"You're not supposed to." 

"Yes, sir." 

The aide was a competent man. 
Orders were written that afternoon, 
in complete disregard of normal 
red-tape. Base Q was advised of 
the imminent shift. Commander 
Stanley Morgan boarded a jet 
plane on the Australian desert that 
night. The next morning, he was 
shown into the Old Man's office. 

"Commander," the Old Man 
said after the preliminaries were 
taken care of, "as you are well 
aware, you have been in consider- 
able disgrace, recently, for getting 
too close to the Venusian-Combine 
war, in defiance of orders. It has 
been felt, in certain quarters, that 
you might have caused a serious in- 
ternational crisis." 

THE JUNIOR officer started to 
speak, but the admiral waved 
him to silence. 



"You could, if you like, point out 
that the crisis has come, anyhow. 
As a matter of fact, I never felt that 
that phase of your action was too 
important. I did, however, deplore 
your disregard of orders — and still 
do." He paused a moment, while 
his steel gray eyes studied the 
younger man. "You are about to 
receive new orders. It is absolutely 
imperative that these orders be 
obeyed explicitly." His pointing 
finger punctuated his words with 
slow emphasis. 

"These orders place you in com- 
mand of Base Q. The Treaty of 
Porran, among other things, desig- 
nates the asteroid Quanlik, or Base 
Q, as being die territory solely of 
the Federation and suitable for the 
establishment of a delta-level en- 
ergy converter. Because this con- 
verter is the prime source of gam- 
ma-level, degenerate matter which 
is used as the fuel for nearly all our 
power generators, Base Q is recog- 
nized as a prime defense area of the 
Federation. A sphere, one hundred 
thousand miles radius about Quan- 
lik, was designated by the treaty as 
a primary zone. Any ship or ships 
entering this zone may be ordered 
to leave within one hour. Upon 
failure to comply, our military 
forces may take such action as they 
deem necessary. A sphere, twenty 
thousand miles radius, is designated 
as the secondary zone. Assuming 
the prior warning has been given 
upon their entrance into the pri- 
mary zone, full action may be taken 
against any ship entering this with- 
out delay or further warning. 

"Standing orders with regard to 
Base Q are that any ship entering 

the primary zone shall be warned 
immediately. Upon failure to com- 
ply, after the one hour period, full 
action shall be taken with the forces 
stationed on Quanlik. Any ship en- 
tering the secondary zone shall be 
brought to action as soon as pos- 
sible without warning. 

"Your orders direct you to as- 
sume command of Base Q and to 
comply with existing standing or- 
ders regarding the maintenance of 
its security until and unless advised 
of a change in the standing orders 
or the Treaty of Porran." The Old 
Man paused for effect. "Any ques- 

"Yes, sir," the younger man said. 
"I am wondering if I should in- 
quire what events you are antici- 
pating. Would it be wise for me to 

"No!" The monosyllable cracked 
out like a shot. 

"No further questions, sir." 

"I have one. While you were in 
Australia, I presume you kept well 
informed on recent developments 
of Plan K?" 

"Yes, sir. The school I com- 
manded taught advanced theory of 
Plan K." 

"Very good. You will proceed 
immediately to Base Q. As a final 
word I will repeat the absolute 
necessity of obeying your orders to 
the letterl Good luck." 

The young man saluted, collect- 
ed his orders and walked out. Two 
hours later, he was in space. 

COMMANDER Morgan's office 
was perched in a plastic bub- 
ble high on a crag overlooking Base 



Q. Directly below it lay a few of the 
multitude of locks that provided 
haven for the protecting fleet of P- 
ships. A vast array of domes and 
other geometrical shapes bore wit- 
ness to the hive of machine-shops, 
storerooms, offices, et al, that kept 
the fleet operating. And on the far 
horizon towered the mighty struc- 
ture of the delta-level converter, the 
reason for the existence of Base Q. 
A quarter of a million tons of high 
test steel and special alloys, ma- 
chined to tolerances of less than a 
thousandth of an inch, with an- 
other hundred thousand tons of 
control equipment, it was yet deli- 
cate enough so that it could not 
have functioned in the gravity field 
of any planet. This asteroid, small 
as it was, was barely below the per- 
missible limit. 

The Commander sat at his desk, 
watching the latest flashes in the 
news-caster. They were not good. 
At this very moment, the President 
of the Federation was in conference 
with the representatives of the 
Combine, discussing the wording of 
the protocol that would probably 
be signed in a few hours. And no 
word — no hint — that anyone in the 
Federation outside the services was 
willing to dare anything at ajl. A 
red light flashed on his desk. A 
buzzer sounded a strident call. He 
flipped a switch. "Commander 

"Far-Search talking. Report con- 
tact with large group of ships, prob- 
ably dreadnought warships. Range, 
two one oh. Bearing, four oh dash 
one nine. Speed, seven five. Course, 
approaching. That is all," 

"Keep rae advised any change or 

further details. Advise when con- 
tact ranges one five oh." 


The Commander pressed a but- 
ton on his desk. In response, his 
staff quickly assembled to brief him 
on the immediate status of Base Q 
as a war-making machine. As a 
matter of routine, it was always 
kept fully ready. His staff merely 
confirmed this for him. 

Seventy-five thousand miles out 
in space, the Radars of the Far- 
Search net swept their paths. Men 
labored over their plotting tables, 
noting the information the radar 
echoes brought back; slowly piecing 
together the picture. Tight com- 
munication beams relayed the data 
back to the base as fast as it was ob- 

About an hour later, the red light 
flashed again. The assembled staff 
fell quiet as the Commander flipped 
the switch, again. "Commander 

"Far-Search talking. Contact 
previously reported now range one 
five oh. Bearing, four one dash one 
seven. Course, approaching. Speed, 
six nine. Estimated twenty three 
ships, dreadnought type, plus small 
ship screen. Battle formation. That 
is all." 

"Advise at range one one oh." 


The Commander turned to his 
staff. "Sound a general alert." His 
words were clipped and clear. He 
flipped a second switch on his desk. 
"Radio, this is the Commander. Get 
me a direct beam to the Chief of 
Staff. Highest urgency. Scramble 
with sequence Charlie." 

His ofRce had emptied by now. 



with officers running to their posts 
as the siren of the general alert 
wailed through the corridors. As its 
urgent call died off, a green light 
showed on his desk, indicating con- 
tact with earth. "Morgan, Com- 
mander, Base Q, requesting direct 
line to Chief of Staff. Highest 

"Go ahead, Morgan." The Old 
Man's voice sounded peculiar after 
passing through the scrambling and 
unscrambling machines that twisted 
the sounds into queer pieces and 
distributed them among several 
frequencies and methods of modu- 
lation. But, even so, it had a note of 
strain in it that was not artificial. 

"Sir, when you gave me my or- 
ders, here, you directed me to obey 
them to the letter, without question 
or cavil. Is that right, sir?" 

"Yes, it is." There was a threat 
in the Old Man's voice. 

"Then, sir, would you tell me if 
there has been any change in those 
orders since my arrival? Aside from 
administrative details, of course?" 

"No. Absolutely not." 

"Very good, sir. Sorry to have 
bothered you." 

"Not at all. Quite right. Good 
luck. Signing out." 

Morgan thought the Old Man 
sounded relieved at the end. And he 
could not be quite sure, but he 
thought he heard the Admiral mut- 
ter "And good hunting," as the 
connection broke. 

He summoned his aide to take 
over the office while he went down 
to the center of the asteroid where 
I.e., the information center, was 
located, where he would assume di- 
rect command of the base. 

Ships Supply Officer reported 
all ships fully loaded and fueled 
with gamma-matter, ready for 
flight. The Missile Officer reported 
all ships equipped with war-head 
missiles. The Lock Officer reported 
all locks manned and ready. Base 
Q was ready. 

As he climbed to his chair over 
the plotting tank, he noted with 
satisfaction the controlled tautness 
of the men's faces. They too, were 

As the glowing points of yellow 
light that represented the enemy 
fleet crossed the dimly lit sphere in 
the tank that indicated the one 
hundred thousand mile radius 
marking the edge of the primary 
zone, he took a microphone from a 
man waiting, nearby. 

"Base Q to unknown fleet. I 
. have you bearing four one dash one 
seven. Range one oh oh. Identify 
yourself. Identify yourself. Over." 
His words were spaced out with 
painful clarity. A hush had fallen 
over I.e. 

The loud speaker on the wall 
came to life with a squawk, after a 
few seconds. 

"Fleet Four to Base Q. This is 
Fleet Four, operating under orders 
from the Jupiterian Combine. 

"Base Q to Fleet Four. Accord- 
ing to the Treaty of Porran, space 
within a radius of one hundred 
thousand miles of Base Q has been 
designated a primary defense zone 
of the Federation. I therefore order 
you to leave this zone within one 
hour. Failure to comply will make 
you.liable to full action on our part. 



I have the time, now, as one three 
four seven. You have until one four 
four seven to comply. I further 
warn you that an approach within 
twenty thousand miles will make 
you liable to immediate action, re- 
gardless of time. Over." 

The men in the room stared, 
open-mouthed. All had dreamed of 
hearing these words spoken in these 
tones to the Combine. A cheer 
might have been given, had it not 
been for discipline. 

In a few seconds, the loud-speak- 
er squawked again. "Fleet Four to 
Base Q. Our orders are to assume 
a position at twenty-five thousand 
miles radius pending renegotiation 
of the Treaty of Porran. I suggest 
you contact your headquarters be- 
fore doing anything rash. Over." 

The Commander sat with a smile 
on his lips. Quietly he handed the 
microphone back to the radioman. 
In a minute, the loud-speaker 
squawked, again. "Fleet Four to 
Base Q. Did you receive my last 
transmission? Acknowledge, please. 

The radioman looked at the 
Commander, questioningly, but he 
only shook his head. 

"Can't you turn that damn 
squawk-box off? It's distracting." 

As the minutes crept by, the 
bright dots in the tank moved 
closer. The Commander took the 
Public Address microphone. 

"Attention, all personnel, this is 
the Commander talking. The 
Fourth Fleet of the Combine en- 
tered the Zone twenty minutes ago. 
They were given an ultimatum but 
are showing no indication of com- 
pliance. Therefore, we are going to 

blast hell out of them." The echoes 
from his voice rolled back from 
speakers all over the base. "The 
people at home do not think we can 
do it. I know we can. I have not 
asked their permission. It is not 
needed. My orders are explicit and 
fully cover the situation. My orders 
to you are equally explicit. Go out 
there and teach the bloody bastards 
a lesson." He turned back to the 
men in I. C. "Scramble flights one, 
two, three, and four. Others to fol- 
low at intervals of five minutes until 
all are in space. Flight plan King 
Baker. Initial Time, one four five 
oh. Execute." 

The talkers took up the chant. 

"Flight one. Flight one. Scram- 
ble. Scramble. Execute." 

"Flight two " 


In the tank, green points of light 
moved out. The first four came into 
position and stopped in the four 
quadrants of the circle of which the 
center was the point at which the 
enemy would be at Initial Time. 
The following flights moved out to 
other points on the circle. 

Time seemed to stop. In I. C, 
the Flight Directors gave the orders 
that moved their flights into posi- 
tion and briefed them on future 
tactics in quiet voices. The elec- 
tronic computers and other devices 
moved silently. The clock made no 
noise as its hands moved towards 
the final moment. 

The Commander moved some 
dials under his hands. He pushed a 
button and a red light showed on 
the lead dreadnought of the enemy 

"This is the initial target." The 



designation was relayed to the 

The second hand of the clock 
was making its final sweep. All 
voices quieted. The Commander 
raised his fist. As the clock's hand 
came to the top, his fist slashed 

"Execute!" The battle was on. 

FLIGHT Commander Dennis, 
Flight One, heard the final word 
as he sat in the small bubble on top 
of the dense package of machinery 
that was a P-ship. Swiftly, his hands 
closed switches. The course had al- 
ready been chosen and fed into the 
automatic computers under him. 
He merely gave the signal to exe- 
cute. In response, the ship seemed 
to pick itself up and hurl itself 
down the radius of the circle to the 
waiting enemy fleet. 

He could not see them, but he 
knew that, behind him, lay the 
other nine ships of die flight, in 
column, spaced so close that an 
error in calculation of but a few 
millionths of a second would have 
caused disaster. But the automatic 
and inconceivably fast and accurate 
calculators in the ships, tied to- 
gether by tight communication 
beams, held them there in safety. 

As he came within range of pos- 
sible enemy action, Dennis pressed 
another button, and the Random 
Computer took command. 
Operated by the noise a vacuum 
tube generates because electrons are 
discrete particles, it gave random 
orders, weighted only by a pref- 
erence to bring the ship's course 
back to the remembered target. 

The column behind obeyed these 
same orders. The whole flight 
seemed to jitter across space, mov- 
ing at random but coming back 
to a reasonably good course towards 
the target, utterly confusing any 
enemy fire-control computers. 

To the men in the ships, one to 
each, it seemed as if dieir very 
nerve cells must jar apart. They felt 
themselves incapable of coherent 
action, or, even, thought. But they 
did not need coherency. Their 
function was done until the ship 
was out of danger, when a new for- 
mation would be made, a new tar- 
get designated, and a new order to 
execute given. 

Because the electronic computers 
took care of the attack. They had 
to. No human could react as fast as 
was needed. Out from the enemy 
ships reached fingers of pure delta- 
field, reaching for gamma-matter. 
The touch of a finger meant death 
in a fiery inferno as the gamma- 
matter that fueled the ship and 
formed the war-heads of their 
lethal eggs would release its total 
energy. There was only one defense. 
The delta-field could be propa- 
gated only in a narrow beam, and 
at a rate much slower than the 
speed of light. By keeping the ene- 
my computers confused, they kept 
those beams wandering aimlessly 
through space, always where the 
little ships might have been, but 
were not. Unless their luck ran out. 

Flight One kept moving in, with 
constantly increasing speed, except 
for random variations. Once 
through the outer screen of small 
ships, a relay closed and the link 
was broken between the ships of the 



column. Each then moved in in- 
dependent manner. The designated 
target was an area to the com- 
puters, rather than a ship. Radar 
beams reached out to find specific 
targets. As they found them and 
moved close, the random computer 
switched off for a small moment of 
time, while the missies were dis- 
patched on a true bearing. And 
then the ships moved on, leaving 
their eggs behind them. 

The eggs moved in with fantas- 
tic acceleration to their targets. 
Half their energy went into that 
acceleration, to get them there be- 
fore the delta beams could find 
them. The other half was given up 
in incandescent heat when they 
found their targets. Becoming pin- 
points of pure star matter, they 
seared their way into the enemy 
vitals. But, even with their fantas- 
tically concentrated energy, it was 
not enough. For the dreadnoughts 
were armored with densely de- 
generate matter, impervious to any 
but a direct hit, and compart- 
mented to require many hits. 

The flights moved in and passed 
on through. And other flights came 
in. And others followed them. The 
first flights halted, found each 
other, turned, and drove in again. 
Pass and repass. A myriad of blue- 
white flashes gave measure of the 

ON BASE Q, In the I. C. room, 
the Commander watched the 
tank. Curt orders designated new 
target areas as the enemy fleet 
broke up under the whiplash. Slow- 
ly, one by one, the points of light 

that marked the enemy vanished, 
leaving only the void. 

Finally, as must any fleet that 
faces annihilation, they turned and 
fled. The battle was over. All that 
remained was to give the orders to 
bring the flights home. And that 
was soon done. 

The Commander got up. He 
stretched. He was tired. He glanced 
at the clock. Two hours and forty 
minutes. Very quick, indeed, as 
space battles usually went. But, 
then, he thought grimly, this had 
been the first battle ever fought un- 
der the whiplash of Plan K. 

But, now, there was a report to 
be made. And he did not know how 
to do it. As he walked back wearily 
to his office, he tried out phrases in 
his mind. None seemed to fit. 

His aide was bending over the 
facsimile machine as he came in. 
"Priority orders from the GJeneral 
Staff, just coming in, sir." 

The Commander looked at the 
machine. "General Staff to Com- 
mander, Base Q, Urgent, Imme- 
diate Action," he read. "You are 
hereby advised that a protocol has 
been signed at Washington, D. C, 
with representatives of the Com- 
bine, revising the Treaty of Porran 
to the extent that Base Q shall be 
jointly administered by yourself 
and the Commander, Fourth Fleet, 
Jupiterian Combine, until such 
time as its further dispensation 
shall have been agreed. You will, 
therefore, admit said Fleet upon 
demand, permitting it to take up 
such stations as it may desire, in 
either zone, or to land, in whole or 
In part, and to disembark such of 
its personnel as its commanding of- 



ficer may direct. You will make ar- 
rangements with its commanding 
ofBcer for the joint administration 
of the base. You will be held re- 
sponsible for the smooth operation 
and successful accomplishment of 
this undertaking. These orders are 
effective immediately." 

Commander Morgan smiled. 

"Send this reply immediately," 
he said to his aide. "Open code. 
Commander, Base Q, to General 
Staff, Highest urgency. Acknowl- 
edge receipt recent orders regarding 
protocol revising Treaty of Porran. 
Regret unable to comply. Due to 
recent argument over interpreta- 
tion of Treaty of Porran, Fourth 
Fleet, Combine, no longer exists. 
Request further orders." 

He laughed. 

On earth, the ofBcer who took 
the message gaped at it. Seizing a 
telephone, he dictated it to the Old 
Man's aide. But when the Old Man 
saw it, he only smiled, coldly. 

And his smile was bleak and cold, 
too, when he laid it before the 
President and the Cabinet an hour 
later. Shortly afterwards, when the 
President broadcast it to the peo- 
ple, they sat, stunned. It was not 
until the next day that they finally 
read its significance and started 
celebrating. But the Old Man had 
ceased smiling by that time, and 
was planning possible future 

A month later, Morgan sat again 
in the Old Man's office. Having 
presented his report and swallowed 
the unpleasant pill that, as he was 
now a hero, there were speeches to 

make and banquets to be bored at, 
he was talking informally. 

"What I can't understand, sir, is 
why they came in. They only had 
to wait a couple of hours and the 
whole kit and caboodle would have 
been dumped in their laps. Yet they 
come barging in and give us exactly 
the opening we want. I don't get 

"That is an interesting question," 
the Old Man replied with a shadow 
of a twinkle. "You might almost 
think they had intercepted an or- 
der I sent to our Intelligence Offi- 
cer, on Q, to sabotage the Converter 
if the protocol was signed." 

The Commander jumped. "Was 
that order given, sir?" 

"Yes, it was. But it was counter- 
manded an hour later. Different 
channel, however. I remembered 
they had broken the code of the first 

He paused a moment. "That 
illustrates a good point to remem- 
ber, Morgan. You intercept enemy 
messages and break their code. A 
very useful trick. Also very danger- 
ous, if the enemy discovers you 
have broken it, and you don't know 
that he knows. Very dangerous, in- 

The young man laughed. The 
older one smiled, bleakly. 

As Morgan looked out the win- 
dow, he saw the public news-cast- 
ers spelling out the full mobiliza- 
tion of the Federation. A glow 
filled his heart as he realized the 
people were now willing, if they 
had to, to fight to defend their 

■ THE END ■ 

Personalities in Science 


A lonely figure walked 
Florentine streets . . . 

dred years ago, Nature did its 
finest job of human creation, and 
has apparently been resting up 
from the task ever since. This crea- 
tion, an illegitimate child born to 
one Ser Piero Da Vinci and a 
peasant girl of sixteen in a village 
called Vinci, a few miles from Flor- 
ence, Italy, becarne the golden man 
of his time and of times to come. 

Those were the days of the great 
political princes, of the sinister 
Medici clan, of Lorenzo the Mag- 
nificent, the scoundrel of the 
Renaissance. Days when intrigue 
and cruelty were developed as fine 
arts. And through this period 
walked Leonardo, contributing to 
its greatness, but remaining un- 
touched by its carnality and rotten- 

While this was the Renaissance 
from which sprang the renewed ef- 
forts of Man to discover and reflect 
his true dignity, the actual nar- 
rowness of the period is seen in the 
fact that Leonardo Da Vinci is 
known today mainly as an artist 
without peer. In most minds, this is 


his claim to greatness. In reality, it 
was but one facet of his myriad 
perfections — and probably a minor 
facet at that. 

In truth, he left few paintings, 
and some of those, unfinished. His 
Adoration of the Magi was never 
finished. We have his St. Jerome 
and the Virgin of the Rocks among 
others. And of course, what was 
probably the greatest artistic efTort 
ever produced by man — The Last 

But, while other great artists of 
the time collected the huge fees of- 
fered for portraiture and epic 
works, Leonardo seems to have 
stood aloof from the lure of money. 
His notebooks and personal records 
chart his course as one of ©bserva- 
tion, study — almost, it appears, of 
meditation on the vast possibilities 
and developments which he alone 
— in his time — could sense and 

Thus we see him haunting the 
slums of Florence for the face of 
Judas to be used in The Last Sup- 
per. We see him standing, aloof, in 
a mob howling around the gibbet of 
Bandino — ^hung by the Medici — to 
observe and record in his notebook, 
the peculiar contortion of this last 
agony — the facial distortions. Leo- 
nardo was the student who said. 



"We have no right to love or hate 
anything until we have a full 
knowledge of it." 

HIS NOTEBOOKS are stunning 
in their revelations of his broad 
concepts. Sadly, he worried not at 
all about posterity's interest in his 
work. He made no effort to keep 
orderly records. At least 5000 pages 
of his writings are scattered over 
the world in various galleries and 
museums. Possibly as many were 
destroyed or lie undiscovered. 

What we have shows that Leo- 
nardo founded, through his person- 
al work, many formal channels of 
today's study. He was the father of 
engineering, anatomy, geology. He 
was a biologist, a hydrographer, a 
geometrician, a mathematician, a 
discerning student of optics. 

In a letter to the Duke of Milan, 
when seeking employment with 
that overlord, Leonardo listed vari- 
ous capacities in which he could be 
of value; a list which no employ- 
ment seeker of today — with all of 
today's advantages — could begin to 
duplicate : 

Leonardo wrote in part: 

"I have a method of constructing 
very light and portable bridges to 
be used in pursuit of, or retreat 
from, the enemy, with others of a 
stronger sort, proof against fire and 
easy to fix or remove. 

"For the service of sieges, I am 
prepared to remove the water from 
the ditches, and to make an infinite 
variety of scaling-ladders and other 
engines proper to such purposes. 

"I have also, most convenient 
and portable bombs, proper for 


throwing showers of small missiles, 
and with the smoke thereof, caus- 
ing great terror to the enemy. 

"By means of excavations made 
without noise, and forming tortu- 
ous and narrow ways, I have a 
means of reaching any given point, 
even though it be necessary to pass 
beneath rivers. 

"I can also construct covered 
wagons, secure and indestructible, 
which, entering among the enemy, 
will break the strongest bodies of 
men; and behind these the infantry 
can follow in safety and without 

"I can make mortars and field- 
pieces of beautiful and useful 
shape, entirely diiferent from those 
in common use. 

"For naval conflicts, I have 
means of making numerous instru- 
ments, offensive and defensive. I 
can also make powders and vapors 
in the offense of the enemy. 

"In times of peace I believe I 
could equal any other as regards 
works in architecture. I can pre- 
pare designs in buildings whether 
public or private, and also conduct 
water from one place to another. 

"Furthermore, I can execute 
works in sculpture, marble, bronze, 
or terra-cotta. In painting also, I 
can do what may be done, as well 
as any other, whosoever he may be. 

"I can also undertake the exe- 
cution of the bronze horse which is 
a monument that will be to the 
perpetual glory of my lord your 
father of happy memory and of the 
illustrious house of Sforza. 

"And if any of the above-named 
things shall seem to any man im- 
possible or impracticable, I am per- 



fecdy ready to make trial of them 
in whatever place you shall be 
pleased to command, commending 
myself to you with all possible hu- 

Leonardo of course went to work 
for the Duke. For sixteen years he 
busied himself with all the things 
indicated in his letter of applica- 
tion. He finished the construction 
of a cathedral. He built canal and 
locks. He drained marshes. He in- 
vented the machine gun and the 
breech loading cannon. 

He built, also, the statue of the 
horse and painted The Last Supper. 

BUT ABOVE all, he showed that 
true greatness contains the 
quality of serenity. He lived simply 
while becoming at the same time a 
legend among the people. A lordly 
figure, he never walked the streets 
but what all eyes followed him and 
all tongues whispered. 

But, beyond all doubt, he was 
lonely. Aloof from desires of prince- 
ly splendor or hermitical detach- 
ment, he tread the common middle 
way, yet still above the vices with 
which many common men combat 
boredom or life's hostility. 

In his written pages, he refers to 
a woman but once and then only 
to mention her "fantastic face". 
There is no record of a love affair, 
nor even an intellectual compan- 
ionship with a woman. Yet, in his 
instincts he certainly knew women 
well. Witness the Mona Lisa smile. 
The immortal gentleness and com- 
passion on the faces of the Ma- 
donna and St. Anne in the paint- 
ing of the same nanie. 

Perhaps it is more accurate to say 
that Leonardo Da Vinci knew no 
one, but rather everyone — no thing, 
but all things, with an understand- 
ing and an instinctive discipline 
that made it impossible for him to 
portray — in any of his many me- 
diums — anything but truth. 

When the Duke of Milan, Leo- 
nardo's sponsor, came finally to 
grief, Leonardo's comment was in- 
dicative of his character — of the 
epic impersonality with which he 
viewed all things. The Duke's 
downfall was brought about by the 
French, who crossed the Alps and 
took Milan over. Leonardo wrote: 

"This day, the Duke lost his 
state, his possessions, his liberty — 
and none of his works is com- 

Leonardo made no comment on 
the fact that his own fortunes had 
been drained by the invasion. 

His work went on, however. He 
moved under the mantel of Caesar 
Borgia, of evil reputation, invented 
the diving bell, the swimming belt, 
then moved into a career that took 
him all over central Italy — that of 
a cartographer. Of course, he ex- 
celled in this also. 

Paralyzed, in later years, he lost 
the use of his hands, but his mind 
went on working and, in the end, 
he wrote: 

"When I thought I had been 
learning how to live — I had only 
been learning to die." 

This last he did, in his sixty- 
seventh year. And perhaps we are 
wrong in saying he lived before his 
time. Perhaps that will be said alsp, 
in future times, of greats who have 
enriched our present years. — pwf 


By R. S. Richardson 

A New Major Planet 

PROBABLY the most excit- 
ing astronomical announce- 
ment one could imagine would be 
the discovery of a new major planet 
within the present confines of the 
solar system. 

Impossible? Perhaps, but did you 
know that out beyond the orbit of 
Jupiter there is a body that at times 
presents the appearance of a sharp- 
ly defined disk corresponding to a 
planet about the size of Mercury 
or Mars? Moreover this body moves 
in a path that is nearly circular. 
You might follow this body for 
weeks without noticing anything 
about it to distinguish it from one 
of the terrestrial planets. 

This body is one of the most pe- 
culiar in the solar system. It seems 
to be a sort of connecting link be- 
tween comets and asteroids. In fact, 
it might be described as an asteroi- 
dal comet or a cometary asteroid, 
whichever name you prefer. Some- 
times it is surrounded by a halo 
like a comet and at other times it 
shows simply a disk like a planet. 
And nobody knows when it is go- 
ing to change from one to the other. 

This body was discovered on No- 
vember 15, 1927, by Schwassmann 
and Wachmann at Bergedorf, Ger- 
many. Apparently they picked it up 
accidentally on a photograph taken 
for some other purpose as so fre- 

quently happens in astronomy. On 
the discovery plate the body ap- 
peared as a starlike nucleus sur- 
rounded by a faint coma, the whole 
being of about magnitude 14. A 
sixth magnitude star is the faintest 
you can see with your unaided eye. 
The faintest star you can photo- 
graph with the 200-inch telescope 
is magnitude 22. Because of the 
coma the body was called a comet 
and in the course of time acquired 
several aliases. For example, you 
will find it referred to as Comet 
Schwassmann-Wachmann I, Comet 
j 1927, and Comet 1925 II. Sup- 
pose that we refer to it as 1925 II 
for short. 

1925 11 Troubled Astronomers 

Right from the start 1925 II be- 
gan giving astronomers trouble. 
When a new body is discovered 
computers try to determine its or- 
bit as quickly as possible before it 
slips away and is lost again. Al- 
though this first orbit is only a 
rough approximation to the true 
one yet it is good enough to keep 
the body in sight for a couple of 
weeks or so. By that time astrono- 
mers will have gotten more observa- 
tions which will enable a better or- 
bit to be determined. 

Most comets move in orbits so 
elongated that they are nearly pa- 
rabolas. It is standard practice uiere- 




fore when a comet is discovered to 
assume that the orbit is a parabola 
and to issue predictions on that 
basis, the reason being that a para- 
bolic orbit can be computed very 
quickly. And so computers went to 
work on 1925 II assuming that 
here was another ordinary little 
comet moving in a nearly parabolic 
path. But when they began to com- 
pare notes they found that their or- 
bits differed so widely that some- 
thing must be radically wrong. 
They soon realized that the comet 
had fooled them completely. In- 
stead of moving in an elongated 
cigar-shaped path it seemed to 
move in one that is nearly a circle. 
Later work has shown this view to 
be correct. Comet 1925 II moves 
in a path that is less elongated than 
that of Mercury or Pluto. It takes 
16 years to make a complete circuit 
around the sun, never coming near- 
er to the sun than 493 million miles 
and never receding farther than 
679 million miles. 

Since 1925 II moves in a nearly 
circular path at such a great dis- 
tance from the sun we should ex- 
pect it to be the most stable and 
inert of comets. On the contrary, 
only a few months after discovery 
it began showing variations in 
brightness, not radical but enough 
to puzzle astronomers. As time went 
on more spectacular changes were 
observed that could not be passed 
off as errors of observation. It be- 
came apparent that here was a little 
body out in the cold of space that 
for no reason could change in 
brightness by a hundred fold with- 
in a space of less than a fortnight. 

The biggest flareup on record 

occurred in January 1946. Accord- 
ing to Dr. G. Van Biesbroeck, who 
made the observations with the 24- 
inch reflector of the Yerkes Observ- 
atory on the night of January 1, the 
comet showed a star-like nucleus 
from which emanated a broad fan- 
shaped tail. On the next night it 
looked about the same but was 
somewhat fainter being about mag- 
nitude 15.5. But when he examined 
the comet on January 25 he was 
astonished to find that it had 
jumped to magnitude 10.2, appear- 
ing as a sharp nucleus surrounded 
by a coma. The following night it 
was magnitude 9.4 and the coma 
had doubled in extent. Then it be- 
gan to grow fainter and by Febru- 
ary 8 had dropped to magnitude 15 

Brighter Than Halley's Comet 

The faintest that 1925 II has 
ever been reported is about magni- 
tude 18. Thus what should be the 
most sluggish of all comets has 
varied through a range of nine 
magnitudes corresponding to a 
change in brightness of 4000 times! 
Halley's comet is popularly regard- 
ed as a Celestial giant. Yet Halley's 
comet could not be seen even in the 
most powerful telescope at the dis- 
tance of 1925 II. 

Before we can attempt to explain 
changes of this kind we must first 
ask ourselves What is a comet? and 
What makes it shine? 

Astronomers are agreed that the 
nucleus of a comet consists of a 
loose collection of meteorites rang- 
ing in size from mere grains of sand 
up to boulders perhaps as big as a 



house or larger. As a comet nears 
the sun these particles become heat- 
ed and begin to give oflf occluded 
gasesj in somewhat the same way 
that carbon dioxide gas begins to 
boil out of a bottle of soda water 
when it is warmed. A comet will 
generally begin to show signs of 
life about the time it reaches the 
orbit of Mars. First a tail develops, 
then the nucleus appears and starts 
sending out jets, halos, and emis- 
sion fans. Sometimes a comet gets 
so active it may split in two. 

A comet glows with a soft ghost- 
ly radiance quite different from the 
appearance we should expect if 
shown merely by reflected sunlight. 
What is the source of its luminosi- 
ty? We now believe that comets 
shine for essentially the same reason 
that certain billboards gleam so 
brightly — fluorescence. Ultra-violet 
light or ordinary sunlight shining 
upon certain chemicals will make 
them emit a glow usually of longer 
wave-length than the light they 
have absorbed. Similarly, the gases 
of a comet absorb light from the 
sun and then emit it agciin. For ex- 
ample, a carbon molecule in a 
comet absorbs a blue ray from sun- 
light and then emits the same blue 
ray into space. Thus the spectrum 
of a comet shows a series of bright 
bands due to the light emitted by 
different molecules that have been 
excited to luminosity by the sun. 
This theory has been quite success- 
ful in accounting for the brightness 
of comets. 

But when we try to apply it to 
1925 II we immediately run into 
difficulties. In the first place, it is 
hard to see how the sun could be 

very effective in boiling gases out 
of material that is always frozen 
solid. The highest temperature 
which the material could possibly 
have is about -240° F, and it is al- 
most certainly much lower than 
this. It is particularly hard to see 
how there could be sudden violent 
emission of gas. Remember, too, 
that this body has such a small mass 
that it could not retain an atmos- 
phere even if it were presented with 
one. Any gases issuing from it will 
be immediately lost. For the sake of 
argument, however, we will assume 
that there is enough gas around 
1925 II to form a fairly respectable 

No Relation to Sun's Brightness 

We have seen that a comet shines 
by action of the sunlight falling 
upon it. Therefore, it seems reason- 
able to suppose that the sudden 
changes in brightness originate — - 
not in the comet — but in the sun. 
Over large sunspots there often 
occur brilliant bursts of hydrogen 
gas called flares believed to be rich 
in ultra-violet light. A flare may 
blaze to maximum brightness in 
twenty minutes and then gradually 
fade away in the course of an hour. 
At first glance these flares seem to 
be exactly what we need to account 
for the sudden changes in luminosi- 
ty of the comet. 

So far, however, we have not 
been able to connect a single 
change in 1925 II with a single 
change of any kind upon the sun. 
This does not necessarily mean that 
no such relationship exists. But it 
does mean that it has not as yet 



been proven. The trouble has been 
that when something extraordinary 
happened to the comet nobody was 
watching the sun and vice versa. It 
began to shape up as one of those 
cooperative problems calling for a 
combined effort by observers all 
around the world. Since 1937 the 
sun has been kept under watch for 
nearly twenty-four hours a day. But 
observations of 1925 II are frag- 
mentary in character, two observ- 
ers having done about 90 per cent 
of the work. 

It is significant to note, however, 
that the record flareup of January 
1946 occurred when the largest 
sunspot ever recorded was on the 
side of the sun turned toward the 
comet. As seen from the comet, this 
sunspot would have come into view 
on January 25, passed across the 
disk, and vanished on February 8. 
As we have seen, Van Biesbroeck 
reported the comet faint early in 
January but was amazed to find it 
around magnitude 10 on January 
25, 26, and 28. Then it was faint 
again by February 8. Thus the 
comet was brightest when the 
greatest spot ever known was cross- 
ing the sun's disk as seen from the 
comet. Whether this was merely a 
coincidence nobody knows. 

Astronomers have always felt 
that they could explain almost any- 
thing in the sky if only they can get 
a look at its spectrum. Hence the 
feeling has prevailed that if they 
could once catch 1925 II with the 
spectrograph when it was bright 
they might be able to clear up the 
mystery. About ten years ago such 
an opportunity occurred. On Sep- 
tember 20, 1941, a telegram went 

out from Harvard stating: "Comet 
1925 II suddenly brighter, spectra 

Observed from Lick 

Two photographs of the comet's 
spectrum were obtained with the 
36-inch Grossley reflector at the 
Lick Observatory; At that time the 
comet was 512 million miles from 
the sun and in the telescope resem- 
bled a 12th magnitude nebulous 
star without a tail. The photo- 
graphs showed nothing. Or nothing 
that was of much help in deciding 
what was happening on the comet. 
There were no bright lines and 
bands such as had been expected. 
Only the spectrum of reflected sun- 
light such as we would get from a 
cold body like the moon. Instead of 
clearing up the mystery the spectro- 
grams had only served to deepen it. 

Comets and asteroids are gen- 
erally regarded as two distinct types 
of bodies. Actually, however, the 
difference between them is not 
nearly so well marked as is popular- 
ly supposed. This is the reason why 
a newly discovered body is called an 
"object." Astronomers can't be 
sure how to classify it until they 
have had a chance to study it for 

There have been several aster- 
oids reported surrounded by nebu- 
losity. Sir William Herschel and 
Schroeter reported nebulosity 
around both Ceres and Pallas. 
Herschel also reported nebulosity 
around Juno but was unable to see 
any around Vesta. It is easy to dis- 
credit these old observations as be- 
ing due to imperfections in the tele- 



scopes. Yet in 1928 an experienced 
observer, J. Comas Sola, reported 
224 Oceana and 182 Elsa surround- 
ed by nebulosity, and 899 Jocasta 
has twice been photographed with 
a halo. 

Thus after a quarter of a century 
of observation the sudden outbursts 
of light emitted by Comet 1925 II 
are still a mystery. The explanation 
most favored by astronomers is 
flares of ultra-violet radiation from 
the sun, but as we have seen this 
theory has encountered difEculties. 

But it seems practically impossible 
to think of anything else. A series of 
explosions due to pentup radioac- 
tivity is scarcely worthy of serious 
consideration. It is tempting to let 
one's imagination roam and assume 
that 1925 II is being used as a ce- 
lestial proving ground for some new 
explosive or disintegrator ray. Per- 
haps this will serve as a working 
hypothesis until we can make the 
trip in a spaceship and find out the 
real reason. 

Let There Be Light 

(Continued from page 99) 

wick to soak, and held it out to 
Blackie. He lit the wick from his 

"It bums real good, Blackie," the 
girl said, wrinkling her nose against 
the first oily smoke. "Gee, you're 
smart to catch one the first day 

"Tell them other dames to watch 
how they use it!" he warned. "This 
oughta last a month or more when 
we get him all emptied." 

He blew out the dying flame on 
the stick and dropped the charred 

wood thoughtfully to the floor. 

"Naw, I ain't so smart," he ad- 
mitted, "or I'd figure a way to make 
one of them work the garden for 
us. Maybe someday — but this kind 
won't do nothin' but fix that god- 
dam road, an' what good's that to 

His woman moved the burning 
lamp carefully to the center of the 

"Anyway, it's gonna be better'n 
last winter," she said. "We'll have 
lights now." 

• THE END ■ 





going to grow old along with IF. 
Best wishes for continued success, 
— Dave Hammond 
Runnemede, N. J. 

We're striving for both of them, 
Dave — in addition to making IF 
physically attractive, too. And 
thanks for sticking with us. We'll 
try to make it worth your while. 


Sir Editor: 

The best thing about your maga- 
zine is its limitless possibilities. Let 
me explain: Future can publish 
nothing but stories in the future; 
Galaxy requires a space setting; 
Space Science Fiction and Rocket 
Stories are strictly limited. All those 
need a certain type of story. If the 
public loses interest in that type of 
story — blooey goes the magazine . . . 

Right now science fiction is go- 
ing through a big boom, but just as 
sure as it is on top now it will go 
under. Look at all the new maga- 
zines around now — only a con- 
tinued and growing interest in the 
field can support them (And since 
we're dealing with cycles we must 
accept the fact that at one point the 
thing will reach its peak and then 
descend). After the field stops 
growing the magazines that sur- 
vive and continue will be those that 
have two qualities : ( 1 ) good stories 
and (2) a policy that can adapt to 
the changing needs of the field. 

IF's title can symbolize any field 
of imaginative fiction. 

At this point it looks like I'm 


Dear Sir: 

Congratulations on a second fine 
effort in the May issue of IF maga- 
zine. In the short space of two 
issues, IF has attained heights sel- 
dom reached by other magazines 
even after years of issue. 

Jungle in the Sky, as far as plot 
went, was an exceptionally fine at- 
tempt and a pretty good piece of 
writing. Characterization, however, 
was not good, but the rest of the 
story made up for this. 

I found both Welcome, Mar- 
tians! and The Beast remarkably 
like a couple of stories Ray Brad- 
bury published a little while ago. 
The former had a definitely unique 
twist, but the latter, although inter- 
esting, was definitely commonplace. 

The rest of the stories were 
definitely up to par, as were the 
special features. I really think that 
you should do all you could in ex- 
posing and denouncing that ab- 
surdity known as the Shaver Mys- 

But my Joy in the reading of 
your magazine was dashed to earth 




when I turned to the letter column. 
Here my worst fears were realized. 
I noticed with a good deal of cha- 
grin that someone asked for fan- 
zine revues. Why not have revues 
of revues of fanzines and really 
drive the fen (sic) wild? Miss 
Steiner was right concerning the in- 
troduction of new authors. But it so 
often turns out that many of the 
new authors should have stuck to 
being fans. But, by all means, we 
do need some new faces in the, 
science fiction firmament. 

After agreeing with Miss Steiner, 
my eyes swept down to the next let- 
ter, and choked back a feeling of 
nausea. Here it was, another choice 
example of the inane drivel which 
one finds in the poorly printed 
pages of our cheapest pulp maga- 
zines. We have all the earmarks. 
Teen age slang like "terrif". Refer- 
ence to stories as "cute". (Or 
dreamy, groovy, reety-vouty, mel- 
low, or what have you?) I'd like to 
repeat, please try to keep stuff like 
this out of your publication. A little 
slang is fine, but please try to draw 
the line at utter infantilism. 

Congratulation again on a fine 
science fiction publication. 
— Ben Jacopetti 

San Francisco, Calif. 


Dear Mr. Fairman: 

The May issue of IF was even 
better than the first one and that's 
pretty good. You were right about 
that cover, it is good. The story 
Jungle in the Sky is even better if 
possible. And I'm not partial to 

anyone named Milton. 

I, myself, would like more longer 
stories, but you can't please every- 
one ... 

I like the location of your con- 
tents page, it is right where it 
should be. Why don't you put in 
the number of words after each 
title, it would add to the enjoyment 
of your mag. But as it is, it's at the 
top of my stf reading list. 

— Milton L. Olsen 
Corvallis, Ore. 

And we're going to try to keep it 

» « * 


Dear Ed: 

I have just finished reading 
May's ish of IF, and I want to ex- 
press my opinion. I traded IF from 
a friend of mine and immediately 
after reading it, I placed IF as the 
3rd favorite on my sf mag list. 
[ASF and Galaxy are 1st and 2nd) . 

Joiner is one of my favorites and 
I also liked the cover, that, thank 
heaven, is diflferent from most of 
sf mags. 

Story ratings: 

1. Jungle in the Sky 

2. Welcome, Martians! 

3. Resurrection Seven 

4. It Takes a Thief 

5. Dreamer's World 

6. Infinity's Child 

7. The Beast 

8. The Revealing Pattern 

I would like to see this in print, 
but I think I won't. 

— George Viksnins 
Philadelphia, Pa. 




Dear Ed: 

While the quality, of the May 
issue was as high as that of the 
March one I didn't enjoy it as 
much. I'm afraid the stories were 
rather stereotyped in the boy-girl 
angle. However, they made good 
reading and it is true that you can't 
please everybody. 

I would like to make one point 
clear. Ganymede is not the largest 
moon in the Solar System as Milton 
Lesser would have us believe in 
Jungle in the Sky. Saturn's moon 
Titan is the largest and it is also the 
only moon capable of holding an 
atmosphere. No hard feelings? 

In my humble opinion Infinity's 
Child was the top story this month. 
It presented a very interesting 
theory .and it seems to me that if 
so many people make references to 
the same thing as was showed in 
this story then there must be some 
truth in it. . . . 

At first Welcome, Martians.' 
seemed to be almost exactly like 
Ray Bradbury's They Landed on 
Mars but once I got into it the simi- 
larity disappeared. What a thing to 
have happen to you after just com- 
pleting a 48,000,000 mile trip. A 
simple case of mistaken identity! 
This was another I liked. 

The Beast I didn't quite under- 
stand. Why wouldn't or couldn't 

the men shoot at the creature? It 
seems to me that they must have 
been hypnotized by said entity. 
Otherwise why wouldn't anyone 
kill something they knew was dead- 
ly whether it took the form of some- 
one close to you or not. If you knew 
that it was only an illusion then 
what could hold you back? 

By now this letter is too long to 
even stand a chance of being print- 
ed but as long as I've had my say 
I'm satisfied. 

— Pat Scholz 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 


Dear Editor: 

You came up with some good 
stories in the May issue of IF. Con- 
gratulations to Milton Lesser for 
the excellent job he did in writing" 
Jungle in the Sky. This was by far 
the best story in the issue. 

Welcome, Martians! and It 
Takes a Thief were also well done. 
The only stories that I didn't like 
in the May issue were Infinity's 
Child and Dreamer's World. 

I enjoyed your personality sketch 
on Ray Palmer very much. Keep 
this a regular featifre in IF. 

Maybe you will turn monthly 

- — Bob Goodney 
Ashland, Wis. 

LUNAR SHIP, now approaching a crater area on the moon, is 
descending onto a planet without atmosphere — no sound, no odors, 
no rain, no snow; never a cloud in the sky, never a breeze. Night 
and day the heavens are biacl<, and each day, according to earth 
standards, is a month long. In the velvety black heavens, the sun 
is a steady, bright, colorless light, end the earth is a huge globe, 
with oceans and continents easily definable. 

Hoyden Planetarium 





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